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Full text of "Early Zoroastrianism : lectures delivered at Oxford and in London, February to May 1912"

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D.LIT. (LOND.) ; D.D. (EDIN.) ; D.C.L. (DURH.) ; D.THEOL. (BERLIN) 




; F;"?^\ 



Fm^ Published, 1913 
Re-issued, 1926 


Printed in Great Britain 


(Front a Persian seal in the writer s possession.) 


THE Lectures here printed were delivered more than 
a year ago, and I must apologise for the long time 
that has been needed for the work of writing them 
out in book form, and putting together the supple 
mentary material on which much of my case rests. 
The leisure that a busy teacher s life commands is 
very scanty for such complex inquiries ; and the very 
different field of Hellenistic Greek has demanded 
its share of my time. 

It will perhaps be convenient if I collect in this 
preface the chief theses for which evidence and 
argument are offered in the following pages. I 
have not thought it necessary to occupy space with 
the ordinary information which may be found in 
good books on the subject, or in such standard 
sources as the articles of Geldner and Eduard 
Meyer in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. I am 
the less disposed to do this, as I should only be 
repeating what I have myself recently written in 
my little book in the " Cambridge Manuals " series, 
Early Religious Poetry of Persia. In these Lectures 
I am trying to paint a picture, and not merely to 
take a photograph. Scholars more competent than 
myself may pronounce my painting out of perspective 
or false to the facts; but I shall still perhaps have 


done some service to the study of a fascinating and 
much-neglected subject if I only provoke discussion 
and research. I need not sprinkle a host of personal 
pronouns over my pages to show where I am giving 
my own reading of the situation ; for by the very 
nature of the case I am doing this all through. But 
I hope I have given references enough to show where 
I have differed from the authorities ; and if I do 
venture on novelties, or even heresies, I trust it is 
with great willingness to be confuted if I am wrong. 
My mistakes may suggest to other inquirers a truer 
solution of knotty problems 1 have tried to unravel. 

Lecture I. deals with the sources. Here I try to 
face the question of the antiquity of the Gathas and 
the Later Avesta. The reality of Zarathushtra s 
person as portrayed in the Gathas is defended ; and 
the latter are claimed for a very early date, especially 
on linguistic and metrical grounds. The traditional 
date (660-583 B.C.) is a minimum, but there are 
strong reasons for placing Zarathushtra and his 
Gathas some generations earlier still. The Yashts 
may be placed in the later Achaemenian age, and 
the prose Avesta, in particular the ritual of the 
Vendidad, probably after Alexander. 

In Lecture II. are investigated the religious con 
ditions prevailing before Zarathushtra came. Darius 
is pronounced to have been the first true Zoroastrian 
among the Achsemenian kings ; but it is urged that 
antiquity had dimmed the clearness of the Prophet s 
more esoteric teaching even with this truly religious 
monarch. The other early kings belong to the un- 
reformed Iranian religion, either because the teaching 
of Zarathushtra had wholly or mainly failed to reach 


them, or because they reverted to superstitions more 
in accord with their character. The cult of Ahura 
Mazdah is not a mark of Zarathushtra s teaching, 
having been hereditary in a small aristocratic caste 
long before his time. The popular religion of Persia, 
as described very accurately by Herodotus, is the 
proto-Aryan nature-worship, with Dyaus, the sky, 
at the head of the pantheon, as in the days before 
the Indo-Europeans began to separate. This leads 
to some speculations as to the original character of 
Mithra, the chief of the Iranian " heavenly gods " 
whom Zarathushtra ejected from heaven to return 
in a modified form in the Later Avesta. Finally 
the period of syncretism which brought the religion 
towards the Later Avesta is fixed for the reign of 
Artaxerxes Mnemon. 

Lecture III. urges the historical truth of the Gathic 
picture of Zarathushtra, and places his prophetic 
activity in Bactria. This is the answer to the 
difficulty which sent Darmesteter astray : the more 
esoteric lore of Zarathushtra, and especially the 
doctrine of the Amshaspands, remained for centuries 
within the land of its birth, which was far away from 
the main stream of history. It only spread westwards 
when adapted by the Magi, and in the form they 
gave it. Among the legends of Zarathushtra one 
is discussed as probably referred to in Virgil s Fourth 
Eclogue. It is then shown that the earliest doctrine 
of the Amshaspands gives them neither a collective 
name nor a fixed number ; they are parts of the 
Divine hypostasis, sharing with Mazdah the name 
Ahura, "Lord." Finally I summarise the features 
of a double counter-reformation, as I regard it. 


First there is the return of the old Iranian poly 
theism ; then the work of the Magi, which in the 
Sassanian revival brought Parsism to the form in 
which we know it to-day. 

Lecture IV. is concerned with the Doctrine of 
Evil, which Zarathushtra called Druj, " the Lie " : 
Angra Mainyu, "Enemy Spirit," is a title devised 
by the Magi from a casual epithet occurring only 
once in the Gathas. The fall of the Daevas once 
" heavenly ones " is examined ; especially it is 
shown that Mithra himself, as well as Haoma, was 
probably a Daeva in the Prophet s own system. 
Naturally, explicit allusions have not survived, for 
the old Iranian gods soon emerged from their eclipse, 
shorn of their corrupt attributes and subordinated 
to Mazdah. The Fall of man, as taught in the 
Gathas, is newly interpreted. In the next Lecture 
Zarathushtra s eschatology is set forth, and some 
points in its relation to older ideas examined. The 
most important novelties I have to propound come 
in Lectures VI. and VII., on the Magi, the delinea 
tion of whose origin and work is central for my 
whole view of Zoroastrianism. It is argued that 
the Magi were an indigenous tribe of priests or 
shamans, the leaders of the non- Aryan population of 
Media, who, after failing to gain political supremacy 
in the revolt of Gaumata, secured in two or three 
generations a religious ascendancy which compensated 
for any failure. The earliest evidence of their activity 
as a sacred tribe is in Ezekiel (8 17 ), where they are 
found at Jerusalem in or before 591 B.C., worship 
ping the sun, and holding to their face a branch, 
which is the predecessor of the later barsom. Their 


aboriginal affinities are indicated by parallels from 
Central and Western Africa to their method of dis 
posal of corpses, which, like certain other peculiar 
tenets always recognised in antiquity as specially 
Magian, points to their being neither Aryan nor 
Semitic. Zarathushtra himself was claimed by 
them as a Magus, without adequate reason, and 
points in his religious system which the Magi 
could adapt were taken over. Magian character 
istics which never found their way into Parsism 
were (1) next-of-kin marriage, (2) magic, (3) onei- 
romancy, (4) astrology, (5) the malignity of planets 
and (6) of mountains. On these lines I endeavour to 
trace in the Avesta the contributions of the Magi, 
who may be held responsible for the ritual, and 
for the composition of the Vendidad, while they 
preserved the verse Avesta and popularised with 
adaptations the teaching of the Prophet. But the 
extent of this was very limited till Sassanian times, 
so that true Zoroastrianism is not available as a 
possible source for religious ideas found before that 
period in the West. The alleged influence of 
Babylon upon early Parsism is discussed and shown 
to be without any real foundation. Finally a Median 
folk-story, full of Magian ideas, is traced behind the 
Book of Tobit, and tentatively reconstructed in the 

Lecture VIII. is devoted to the Fravashis, who 
are traced to a double origin, the Di Manes of 
universal ancestor-worship and an animistic concept 
not greatly differing from the External Soul. This 
accounts for the Fravashis of the living, the unborn, 
and communities. The relations of fravasi and 


daena and -^arsnah are examined, also external 
parallels such as the genius (iuno) of Roman religion. 
Finally it is asked how far the Fravashis were 
guardian spirits, and whether they were specially 
connected with stars, which leads to an examina 
tion of possible signs of Magianism in the story of 
the Magi in Matthew ii. 

The concluding Lecture endeavours to illustrate 
the true character of early Zoroastrian concepts by 
comparing them with corresponding concepts in the 
religion of Israel and in Christianity, in matters 
where borrowing is excluded on either side. The 
question of actual borrowing is discussed, and a 
mainly negative result attained, except for some 
features of apocalyptic imagery and of angelology. 
Some limited influence of the Fravashi concept 
may be accepted, but Ahriman and Satan are only 
superficially connected. 

It only remains for me to perform the very pleasant 
task of expressing my deep indebtedness to two 
friends, who between them almost monopolise the 
study of early Zoroastrianism in the English-speak 
ing world. Professor A. V. Williams Jackson of 
Columbia University has helped me now for many 
years by his books, his letters to me, and all too 
rarely by talks when we could meet in his country 
or my own. He read a large part of my MS. and 
sent me many suggestions. Bishop L. C. Casartelli, 
whom Manchester University is fortunate enough 
to claim as Lecturer in Iranian, has read the whole 
of my proofs, to my great profit. I need not say 
I do not leave with either of my friends the slightest 
responsibility for my reading of this ancient and 


perplexing history. I have generally named them 
when they have either added to or questioned what 
was before them. But their kind estimate of the 
work as a whole has been the greatest possible 

There are many other names of learned friends 
from whom I have received help in dealing with 
isolated points that came within their special know 
ledge. I must resist the temptation to set down 
their names here, lest I should produce the impres 
sion that this book has been revised by a veritable 
commission of experts. I have gratefully named 
them at the places where I have sought their help. 
Two more extensive contributions must be mentioned. 
Mr R. D. Hicks has most kindly allowed me un 
limited borrowing powers in a paper he presented 
to the Cambridge Philological Society. Readers 
who follow my annotated extract from Diogenes 
will be grateful to me for rescuing what a too modest 
author had not arranged to publish. The notes I 
am able to print under Dr J. G. Frazer s name 
are a very small part of my twelve years indebted 
ness to their author. Friendship with such a man 
is a liberal education. One name that does not 
often figure lies behind every page. No pupil of 
E. B. Cowell would omit to record his veneration 
for an ineffaceable memory. I read the Avesta with 
him at Cambridge for fifteen years, bidding reluctant 
farewell to my alma mater less than a year before 
she lost one of the most learned and humble of her 
scholars, the most lovable and inspiring of teachers. 
FravaSim asaono yazamaide! 

I should like to add a word of greeting and of 


thanks to distinguished members of the Parsi com 
munity in Bombay. The learned editor of the 
Dinkart, Darab Dastur Peshotan Sanjana, has sent 
me the three latest parts of his great work. I have 
had similar courtesies from Mr J. J. Modi, Mr 
G. K. Nariman, and the Trustees of the Parsi 
Panchayat. Writing as I am of the early period 
I have had less opportunity than I could wish for 
acknowledging their kindness by making appropria 
tions from such researches. My own knowledge 
unhappily does not cross the border of those ancient 
Iranian dialects wherein my studies in Indogermanic 
Philology first led me to range. I earnestly hope 
this book will not too much disappoint Parsi scholars 
who have taken an interest in endeavours to throw 
light on the hoary origins of their religion. I can 
at least plead that I have bestowed much labour of 
love on a subject lying rather far away from the 
primary claims on my time. 

My final acknowledgements, if more limited in 
extent, are naturally the most pleasing to record. 
In the holiday of a busy schoolmaster, my brother- 
in-law and old colleague Mr George Osborn, of 
The Leys, was good enough to make me the first 
of the Indices. Other help in the drudgery of index- 
making comes from members of my family, and 
especially my daily helper : ovev ctye/Xco, M TO 

a. ya. irav. 

J. H. M. 


September 8, 1913. 




THE SOURCES ........ i 




THE LAST THINGS. . . . . . . . -154 

THE MAGI . . . . . . . . . .182 

THE MAGI (continued) .... ... 226 







THE GATHAS ......... 343 


EXCURSUS . . . . . . . . . .422 



THE system of transliteration adopted in Iranian words is that of 
Bartholomae s Lexicon, except that I substitute the Greek v for 
the rather misleading x (kK). This applies only to words in italics 
which are represented with exactness. A less strict transliteration 
is adopted when Iranian words occur in continuous English text 
printed in the same Roman type. A note may be added as to the 
probable pronunciation. The vowels have the "Italian" value: 
3 is the Sanskrit a (as in sofa), a the French an ; a the sound in 
law. Spirant % an d 7 are heard in German dock, Tage (dialectic) ; 
and 8 in our bath and bathe ; r> is our ng ; s z as in jure and a^ure ; 
cj as in church and judge ; %" may be heard in the Welsh chtvech, 
and is probably a th sound. For more exact definitions the 
student will go to the grammars. 

Most of the abbreviations will explain themselves. I may note 
a few that are less obvious : 

Ys = Yasna. 
F* = Yasht. 

Visp = Vispered. 
Nir = Nirangistan. 
W = Westergaard (fragments). 
Bd or Z?ttnrf=Bundahish. 
SZS = Selections of Zad-sparam. 
Mkh Minokhired. 
J3F* = Bahman Yasht. 
SIS = Shayast-la-Shayast. 
Sd = Sad-dar. 
Dk = Dinkart. 
Bh = Behistan Inscription. 
Pers = Persepolis Inscription 
(Kings names precede : 

Dar(ius), Xerx(es), Art- 

NR = Inscriptions at Naks-i- 

Air Wb = Altiranisches Worterbuch 

Brugmann Grundriss"* = Grundriss 

der vergleichenden Grammatik 

der indogermanischen Spra- 


EB = Encyclopedia Biblica. 
ERPP= Early Religious Poetry 

of Persia (Moulton). 
ERE Hastings Encyclopaedia 

of Religion and Ethics. 
Grundriss or Grd. = Geiger and 



Kuhn s Grundriss der iran- 

ischen Philologie. 
IF or Idg. Forsch. = Indogerman- 

iscke Forschungen. 
Le Z(end) /4(vesta), by Darme- 


LAv = Later Avestan. 
O.P., M.P., N.P. = Old, Middle, 

New Persian. 
0(rmazd et) A(hriman), by Dar- 

PSBA = Proceedings of the 

Society of Biblical Archae 

RHR = Revue de I Histoire des 

Rapp i. = ZDMG xix. 1-89; 

ii. = ZDMG xx. 49-140 

(1865 f.). 

SEE = Sacred Books of the East. 
ThLZ = Theologische Literatur- 

ZDMG = Journal of the German 

Oriental Society; WZKM= 

of the Vienna do. ; JA OS 

of the American do. 
Zor(oastrische) S7(udien), by 





Oh that my words were now written ! 
Oh that they were inscribed in a book ! 
That with an iron pen and lead 
They were graven in the rock for ever ! 

The Book of Job. 

THE subject of which I am to treat in these Lectures 
is one that has in our own country attracted far less 
attention than it deserves. In the study of the oldest 
Iranian languages, literatures, and religions we have 
produced a very few great experts ; but we have left 
it to our cousins in Germany and in the United States 
to build up a school. It is a highly regrettable state 
of things, for the Avesta and its religion form a 
subject of extraordinary interest alike for the philo 
logist and for the student of theology. The very 
name of the hall in which these lectures are being 
delivered in London reminds Englishmen of their Parsi 
fellow-subjects in India. Sir Cowasjee Jehangier, 
by whose munificence this hall was added to the 
Imperial Institute, was typical of a small commun 
ity in Bombay whose influence and importance is 
altogether out of proportion to its numbers. We 
shall find as we study the beginnings of Parsism that 


the religion explains the outstanding excellences of 
the Parsi people. We shall understand why their 
fathers long ago preferred death or exile to apostasy. 
For their great founder Zarathushtra Zoroaster, as 
Greeks and Romans called him must count among 
the loftiest minds of human history. Of him alone 
among the prophets of the Gentiles unless we may 
enhance Zarathushtra s glory by setting Socrates at his 
side we may declare with confidence that he had 
nothing to say of God that even Christian thought 
could deem unworthy. There is indeed the pro- 
foundest truth in the beautiful familiar story which 
makes the heirs of Zarathushtra s teaching first among 
men of foreign tongues to offer homage to the infant 
Christ. They were worthy of the privilege, for they 
professed a faith that gave them least to unlearn 
when welcoming the Teacher who should gather 
together all the scattered fragments of Truth and 
" mould them into one immortal feature of loveliness 
and perfection." 

The history of a great religion through some three 
thousand years is too large a subject for a course like 
this, and I am obviously compelled to limit the field 
I shall attempt to occupy. My title announces 
" early " Zoroastrianism as my subject, and by this I 
mean in general the period ending with Alexander 
the Great. I shall overstep this limit only for special 
reasons which will appear when the occasion arises ; 
and I shall make no pretence of being exhaustive 
even up to the limit I have named. I am mainly 
concerned with the origins of the religion, and with 
the lines on which it diverged in later times from its 
first model. Zarathushtra himself and the Gathas 

will accordingly take a primary place in my scheme. 
1 am the less tempted to aim at completeness because 
my friend Prof. Williams Jackson of Columbia 
University, who has already written the most authori 
tative description of Zoroastrianism we possess, in 
the pages of Geiger-Kuhn s monumental Grundriss 
der iranischen Philologie, is preparing for English- 
reading people a treatise which would immediately 
antiquate my own. I shall try to examine with some 
fullness a few of the most important aspects of the 
religion. For the groundwork which has to be pre 
sumed, even in the study of a subject that enters into 
the reading of very few educated people, perhaps 
I may refer to a little " Cambridge Manual " of 
my own Early Religious Poetry of Persia in 
which I have tried to give a non-technical account 
of Avestan literature and religion, and have sketched 
theories which will be the subject of full investiga 
tion here. 

Before I turn to some necessary preliminary 
questions bearing on the sources of our knowledge, 
I should say a few words as to the features which 
make the earliest period of the history of Parsism the 
most interesting and important for our study. Some 
reasons are indeed too obvious to dwell on. In what 
are sometimes called the " founded " religions the 
person and teaching of the founder always claim our 
first attention, and Zarathushtra, dim figure though 
he is, forms no exception to the rule. Then we 
remind ourselves that it is in the earliest period that 
Parsism began most effectively to influence the 
outside world ; while comparatively little was added 
to its store of ideas in any after time. Moreover, 


the greatest problems of religious history in Parsism 
lie within the period I have described. The strange 
uncertainty which attaches to Zarathushtra s date 
and country, and the attempts of highly distinguished 
scholars to relegate him to mythology, will give us 
plenty to discuss. And our first essays in systematic 
definition will show us that Parsism is by no means 
homogeneous. It shows clear signs of a syncretism 
of sundry very distinct elements, and the work 
of resolution will prove a valuable exercise in scientific 
sifting of evidence. 

I need not occupy time with any description 
of the sources, which may be sought in detail in 
various well-known books, and compendiously in my 
own little manual mentioned above. I shall only 
attempt in this Lecture to call attention to some 
points of importance for my purpose, and to discuss 
certain vital problems. First among our sources we 
take those which come to us in Iranian languages. 
A definition of terms should be interpolated here. 
Iran is the native form of the folk-name which is 
familiar to us in derivatives of the Indian drya. 1 I 
shall use the term Aryan throughout in its proper 
sense, as the name given to themselves by the 

1 The possibility that this name is ultimately identical with one 
which appears at the other end of the Indo-European area in the 
Keltic Anovistns, etc., with cognates like the Greek aptaro-s, has been 
often urged, especially by Fick, who sought to prove that it was 
the prehistoric name of the undivided Indo-European family. We 
should then recognise Erin and Iran as kin. But, like so many 
other obvious word-equations, this is not as easy as it looks, though 
I cannot regard it as impossible. Bartholomae (ZAirWb 118) gives 
us some necessary cautions about the uncertainty that besets the 
etymology of folk-names. (See Kretschmer, Einleitung, 130 f.) 


easternmost branch of the Indo-European family, 
which at the dawn of history is found already estab 
lished across the border of Asia. According to the 
view now generally held, this means a presumption 
that the Aryan folk migrated south-east in prehistoric 
times from a district somewhere in central or northern 
Europe, where a more or less homogeneous people 
spoke with some dialectic variations a language which 
comparative philology has been busy reconstructing. 1 
The Aryans proper were still one people at a 
relatively recent period. E. Meyer places their 
Urheimat in the steppes north of the Black Sea and 
the Caspian, whence they migrated through South 
Russia to Turan (Turkestan), the Oxus and Jaxartes. 
In Eastern Iran they divided. According to 
Winckler s view of the inferences to be drawn from 
the inscriptions he discovered at Boghaz-keui, the 
unity was still intact within the second millennium 
B.C. Winckler recognises the undivided Aryans in 
the Harri of his inscriptions, and accordingly the chief 

1 Since this book was completed, I have contributed an essay 
on some points in Iranian ethnography to the volume dedicated 
to Prof. William Ridgeway on his sixtieth birthday (Cambridge, 
1913). On evidence drawn mainly from technical linguistic 
affinities, I have ventured the conjecture that the migration was 
considerably later than I thought when I wrote the sentences of 
this page. I make the founders of the Aryan culture or rather 
the speakers of the language in which it expressed itself to have 
been a German tribe which made a very rapid trek across Russia, 
past the north end of the Caspian, into the country north of the 
Panjab, into which before very long the bulk of the invading tribe 
passed on. In the period of these hypothetical movements the 
Indo-European dialects had not yet become mutually unintelligible. 
I may recall here that Prof. Hirt (Die Indogermanen, p. 22) places 
the first migrations as late as 1600-1800 B.C. 


gods of the proto- Aryan pantheon in Mitra, Varuna, 
Indra, and the Nasatyau (the Twins) who figure in the 
treaty between King Subbiliuliuma and Mattiuarza 
son of Tusratta of Mitanni. In Prof. Soderblom s 
edition of Tiele s Compendium der Religionsgesc/iichte, 
p. 219 f., the inscription is claimed as confirming the 
belief that the Hittites, to whom the Boghaz-keui 
monuments clearly belong, were of Aryan origin : 
the names " depend perhaps on a branch of the 
Aryans slowly pushing their way from the Baltic 
coasts to their new home in the East." A suggestion 
that the connexion is rather with India is worked out 
elsewhere in these Lectures (p. 26) ; and we may 
put with it Prof. Jackson s hint l that we should be 
very cautious about drawing conclusions from 
Boghaz-keui until our information is fuller. " The 
mention may be merely a direct reference to Indian 
deities without having any immediate connexion with 
Iran." The locality is altogether outside Iran, and 
only Iranian peculiarities of language could force 
us to accept so early an Iranian migration west. 
And the names answer only to Indian phonology or 
that of the undivided Aryans. Prof. Winckler would 
recognise this Aryan community in Armenia in the 
fourteenth century, to which the inscriptions belong. 
Prof. Eduard Meyer accordingly claimed Boghaz- 
keui as marking " the first entrance of the Aryans 
into history." Prof. Winckler is content to take the 
names as evidence that for some reason which we 
cannot define the deities in question had special 
significance for the states affected by this treaty. 
He infers, however, that the undivided Aryans were 
1 In ERE iv. 620. 


under Babylonian influence and practised Babylonian 
writing. 1 On this subject of early Babylonian 
influences upon Aryan peoples I have said enough 
elsewhere (p. 236 ff.). Here I would only observe that 
we know nothing about the movements of Indian 
or Iranian tribes in the second millennium, and could 
postulate an ebb from India to the north-west 
without compromising anything that is really estab 
lished. 2 The Aryan character of Mitanni names is 
conjectured on very limited evidence, and may, I 
think, be quite possibly unsound. But if it is to be 
accepted, it probably means no more than that the 
chieftains were Aryan, the people whom they con 
quered being indigenous. 

We must postpone speculation upon the innumer 
able possibilities of this discovery till Winckler can 
follow it further. It is enough to observe here that the 
Indian branch moved off to the Panjab only when a 
very distinctive language, civilisation, and religion had 
been evolved out of the inherited forms the immigrant 
Aryans had brought with them across the steppes. 
The comparative method enables us to reconstruct 
this " Aryan period " 3 with a considerable degree of 
precision. With the results of such reconstruction 
we shall be very much occupied later on. There was 
a time when the legitimacy of this whole method was 
fiercely contested by a school which insisted on the 
infallibility of the native Iranian traditional interpreta- 

1 See Orientalische Literaturzeitung for July 1910. 

2 See a later passage in this Lecture, p. 25 f. 

3 Die arische Periode is the title of a monograph by Fr. Spiegel, 
the great Iranian pioneer. It was published in 1887, and of course 
needs checking by later research. 


tion of the Avesta ; while the comparative school 
retaliated with an equally thoroughgoing contempt. 
Reconciliation has long been established between the 
rival methods by the recognition that both are 
indispensable, and a knowledge of the religion of the 
Veda is acknowledged to be an essential tool of our 
science just as much as that of the expositions handed 
down to us by the Parsi guardians of the Avesta. 

Having thus recognised the claim of prehistoric 
sources, we come to what must of course be the 
primary source of our knowledge of Zoroastrianism. 
The meaning of the name Avesta need not detain 
us, 1 nor the romantic story of its discovery by 
Anquetil Duperron and the distressingly wrong- 
headed scepticism with which the magnificent 
achievement was rewarded. These controversies, 
like those that raged later between rival schools of 
interpretation, have only a historical interest for us 
to-day. The great majority of scholars would say 
nearly as much of the controversy to which I propose 
to devote the major part of this lecture. But the 
denial of the antiquity of the Gathas and the historical 
reality of Zarathushtra is so fundamental that I am 
bound to deal with the question, the more so as the 
negative view is enshrined in the Introduction to the 

1 Geldner approves the suggestion of Andreas, that Avistdk 
comes from upasta, the " foundation text," of which the Zand (Zend) 
is the (Pahlavi or Middle Persian) translation and commentary. 
This suits the facts very well, but we cannot say more. I shall 
discard the incorrect term "Zend-Avesta" for the book, and 
(though less willingly) the conveniently brief term " Zend " for the 
language, using regularly Gathas and Later Avesta for the one, 
Gathic and Later Avestan for the other. It seems best to retain 
the familiar "Vendidad," even if it is a misreading for Vtdcvddt. 


English translation of the A vesta in Sacred Books 
of the East, a work which English readers may be 
pardoned for regarding as infallible. 

It is now nearly twenty years since James 
Darmesteter l startled the world of scholarship with 
his daring paradox, according to which the Gathas 
must be regarded as owing their most central con 
ceptions to Philo of Alexandria, or to a school of 
thought of which Philo is the leading exponent. The 
theory, as Prof. Mills has well reminded us, 2 involves a 
revolutionary change from its author s earlier beliefs, 
as represented, for instance, in the first edition of his 
English Avesta. And within a year or so of its 
appearance the great Orientalist died, after crowding 
into his brief span a marvellous output, conditioned 
by the consciousness that for him the night was soon 
coming, wherein no man can work. It is due to his 
fame to remember that he never had before him the 
all but unanimous judgement of his fellow-students, 
in the light of which he might well have reverted to 
his earlier opinions. I need not, I think, go into 
detail, since with one notable exception the theory 
has never attracted any Iranian scholar of the first 
rank. But since nearly every page of these Lectures 
would be radically affected if we were no longer 
allowed to regard the Gathas as by far the oldest 
part of the Avesta, and centuries older than Philo, 
1 must set forth the main grounds on which ortho 
doxy repels with confidence the new scepticism, as 

1 Le Zend-Avesta (Paris, 1893), introduction to vol. iii. ; and 
SEE iv. pp. xxxi-lxix. See a convenient list of criticisms in 
Bousset, Judentum, 547n. 

2 Zarathushtra, Philo, the Achtemenids, and Israel (1905-6), p. 10. 


represented in Darmesteter s latest work, and to a 
modified extent in Prof. Franz Cumont s famous 
book on Mithraism. 

The sum of Darmesteter s case against the 
antiquity of the Gathas is really concentrated in the 
assertion that Philo s \oyo? Oefo? is the original of the 
Amshaspand "Good Thought." 1 Incidentally, of 
course, this carries with it the lateness of all passages 
in the Later Avesta which name this or the other 
Amshaspands. Darmesteter does not tell us why 
Philo or the school to which he belonged may not 
have derived the conception from Iranian sources, if 
either party is to be convicted of borrowing. More 
over, his admission that only one other of Philo s six 
Ao -ycu or 8wa/u.eis can be compared with a member of 
the Zoroastrian hexad (the Amesha Spenta), is fatal 
to any close connexion between the two systems. 
The central equation itself is by no means axiomatic. 
" Good Thought " is at any rate no translation of 
\6yos Oeios, and the functions of the two have only 
superficial identity. As we see below (p. 98), the 
Ameshas have features of proto-Aryan antiquity, and 
their non-appearance in Achasmenian religion can be 
accounted for on a very different theory. When 
Darmesteter says (p. Ixvii), "A Magus of the old 
days . . . would not have spoken of the earth as 
Spenta Armaiti," he seems to have overlooked the 
evidence that Aramati was genius of the earth in 
India, and therefore presumably in Aryan times. 2 It 

1 Vohu Manah, also "Best (yahistdrn) Thought/ or "Thy 
Thought in addressing Ahura Mazdah. 

2 Unless Carnoy is right in denying the truth of Sayana s state 
ments (on Rigveda, vii. 36 8 and viii. 42 3 ) : see Muscon, n.s., xiii. 


is very easy to grant much of what Darmesteter 
urges as to foreign elements in the later parts of the 
Parsi sacred literature, though few scholars would 
now care to regard Judaism as a source of such. 
Cumont, in the first chapter of his great work, urges 
the fundamental differences between Achaemenian 
religion and the Avesta, which in this case will 
include not only the Vendidad but the Gathas. But 
this, as we see elsewhere, only means that Zara- 
thushtra himself had not kept a secure hold in the 
kingdom of Darius, nor the Magi yet gained one 
among the Persian nobility. We may remove the 
Gathas from the sphere of Cyrus and Darius in space 
as well as in time ; and we may give what date we 
please to Zarathushtra, and yet allow that the full 
effects of his teaching were not yet seen in Persia at 
the period where history opens. 

Darmesteter s account of the transmission of the 
Avesta, based on the Parsi tradition, undeniably pre 
disposes the reader to infer that an accurate repro 
duction of a really ancient scripture was impossible. 
Tradition told how the twenty-one Nasks were lost 
in the invasion of Alexander ; how the Parthian king 
Valkhash ( = Vologeses I., a contemporary of Nero, 
according to Darmesteter) ordered the scattered 
remnants to be collected ; and how the founder of 
the Sassanian dynasty, Ardashir, and his successor 
Shahpuhr, completed the canon two centuries later. 
A priori there seems every reason to suppose that 
the ultimate resultant would have but little of the 

1 33 n 1 . I do not think Carnoy adequately accounts for the genesis 
of the Indian commentator s gloss, the coincidence of which with 
the Avesta gives a very strong presumption of its originality. 


authentic and ancient about it, and a great deal of 
heterogeneous Sassanian thought. But when we 
have to give chapter and verse for a claim that this 
has really happened, it is astonishing how little can 
be produced. In particular we have a test, that of 
metre, which by itself suffices to demonstrate the 
originality of the Gathas and of large portions of the 
Later Avesta. Darmesteter frankly admits that the 
Gathas were written in a dead language, if his date 
is to hold. Let us try to realise what this involves. 

There is, of course, no antecedent impossibility in 
such composition. All of us who have written Greek 
and Latin verse in our undergraduate days know that 
composition in a dead language is possible enough, 
granted very careful study of accurately preserved 
models, and of scientific grammars. Such work as 
that which charms us in Walter Headlam s Book of 
Greek Verse proves that it can be done supremely 
well. But where were the models, and the grammars ? 
Sanskrit has been written for ages since it ceased to 
be a living language thanks to Panini, and the pre 
servation of an immense literature. Have the very 
names of Panini s Iranian comrades perished ? And 
what about existing Gathic verses on which the 
priests of the first century modelled their own so 
cleverly ? We are to suppose that the innovating 
Neoplatonist Magi used this ancient literature to help 
them, and then committed it to the care of the sacred 
fire, lest their new-fangled Amshaspands should be 
found out. It hardly seems probable. Darmesteter s 
earth rests on an elephant, which stands on a tortoise. 
And the tortoise ? Oh, nimporte ! 

But this is only the beginning of the difficulties in 


which the hypothesis is involved. These marvellous 
men of the first century A.D. had two dead languages 
to wrestle with, not one alone ! If the coins of the 
Scythian kings Kanishka and Huvishka (78-130 A.D.) 
prove by the legends 2ao|0>/oa|o(Shahrevar)for Khshathra 
Vairya, and the like, that Gathic Avestan was dead, 
they prove equally that the Avestan of the Yashts 
was supplanted by Pahlavi. At the very least we 
must assume that the poets of the Yashts lived in 
another province, where a different literature in 
another dead language was preserved, and a second 
remarkably accurate grammatical tradition. Or per 
haps, while we are for postulating miracles, we may 
heighten the one instead of devising a second. Our 
grammarians, the peers of their famous Indian brethren, 
were able to preserve both dialects and keep them 
well differentiated ; they were the guardians of two 
literatures, one of which has vanished wholly in favour 
of the forged Gathas, and the other has left an un 
certain quantity of fragments behind, mingled with 
the new imitations. This, too, seems hardly probable. 
We come then to the special test anticipated above. 
The Gathas are confessedly in metre, and so are large 
portions of the Yashts and later Yasna. The metrik 
of Gathas and Yashts is very different, and the one 
metre that governs all the verse of the Later Avesta 
is identic in principle with the floka of the later, 
classical Sanskrit, but more primitive, inasmuch as 
no sense of quantity has yet affected the prosody. 1 

1 I had better quote what I have written in ERPP 24 f., in a 
chapter devoted to Avestan verse terms : 

" We have noted that from first to last Avestan verse shows no 
sign of dependence on quantity. Long and short syllables are 


Gathic metre is equally primitive in this respect, but 
is more varied and original in its terms. But the 
most instructive feature of Gathic prosody is the fact 
that a multitude of forms refuse to scan as they stand 
in the MSS. correctly spelt after the standards of a 
later day. Thus in the early stanzas of the first Gatha 
we find y^aQre, Armaitis., vauroimaidl, where the metre 
demands three, four, and five syllables respectively. 
Etymology and comparison with Vedic enable us to 
read huvaQre, Aramaitis, vavaroimaidt, which suit the 

entirely indifferent, and the student of prosody has only to count 
and not to weigh. Now the verse of the Veda has manifestly 
passed into a new and more developed stage, in which (as Prof. 
Arnold puts it) preferences arise for long and short syllables and 
for groups of these, at certain points in the verse. Nor is this the 
only mark of development on the Indian side. The rules of vowel- 
combination which in the Rigveda (according to Whitney) cause a 
vowel-ending to coalesce with a vowel initial in the next word about 
seven times for every one in which hiatus is left, mark a great change 
from the conditions found in the A vesta, where this sandhi is 
relatively rare. This all means that the Rigveda belongs to a 
very much more advanced stage of literary evolution than any part 
of the A vesta, although the latest Avestan poetry must be centuries 
later in date than the latest hymns of the Rigveda. Indian literary 
development was clearly a hothouse plant. The Vedic poets 
belonged to a regular craft, like Pindar ; and the bardic families 
had no doubt been elaborating the lines of their models for genera 
tions before our oldest extant hymn was composed. In Persia, on 
the othe r hand, it was well-nigh two thousand years before poets 
arose who cared much for literary form. We may not therefore 
argue that the more primitive system of Gathic verse gives the 
Hymns of Zarathushtra higher antiquity than the oldest Indian 
poetry with its abundant marks of literary development. But when 
we set this mark of primitive simplicity by the side of the evidence 
from language, which makes us recognise Gathic to lie at least as 
near as Vedic to the parent Aryan, we feel it increasingly difficult 
to acquiesce in the traditional date for the Prophet, if the Vedic 
poets are not to be brought down out of the second millennium B.C." 


metrical requirements. Geldner s early work, Ubcr 
die Metrik des jungeren A vesta (Tubingen, 1877), 
proved the existence of similarly hidden metre in all 
the verse parts of Yashts, later Yasna, and Vendidad. 
In these, however, the verse is perpetually interrupted 
by prose, which usually betrays its unoriginal character 
by internal evidence as well as by its failure to scan. 
It is clear, therefore, that the secret of Later Avestan 
prosody was lost when the interpolations were made. 
The Gathas were much better preserved, and the 
verse form is relatively less often interrupted by 
misspelling, and practically never by interpolation. 
They were doubtless kept from injury by constant 
repetition with traditional music : if the music was 
wanting in the recitations of the Later Avesta, the 
wholesale accretions of prose glosses is accounted for. 
Having thus explained how the Gathas came to be 
preserved in a form which enables modern science to 
restore their metre with ease and certainty, we may 
go on to observe how minutely accurate is their 
language according to the tests of modern philology. 
Gathic inflexions are found to answer with uniform 
exactitude to those of Vedic Sanskrit, or to differ in 
perfectly explicable ways, the Gathic type being often 
more primitive. The 1st sing. act. pres. va-^yfi is 
older than Vedic -ami, the dat. sing. Ahurai than the 
Vedic asuraya. That first-century compositions, 
written in a dead language which only the priests 
knew, could have been made proof against the 
microscopic tests of twentieth-century science is 
unlikely enough. 1 It is equally unlikely that men 

1 This statement does not involve a claim that the Gathas are 
impeccable in grammar. The recurrent use of instrumental case 


with only religious interests in view would have taken 
the trouble to cultivate linguistic accuracy. They 
had a public far less critical than that on which 
Chatterton palmed off his Rowley Poems. 

The verisimilitude of the Gathic picture of Zara- 
thushtra, his friends and his foes, is the subject of 
comment elsewhere. It is hard to see how anyone 
could make it into an elaborate myth. Too crabbed 
and allusive to be invented, too natural and at times 
even trivial to bear any allegorical meaning, the 
fragments of biography discoverable in the Gathas 
attach themselves without a suggestion of difficulty 
to a real man, doing a great work among many ad 
versaries, but triumphant at last in the establishment 
of a pure and practical religion. The Zarathushtra 
of the later Avesta rarely suggests the possibility of 
anything but myth. But to make the Reformer 
into a legend on the strength of the absurdities that 
gathered round his name is as reasonable as to make 
the Cyropcedia a pretext for doubting the existence 
of Cyrus, or the Apocryphal Gospels a triumphant 
vindication of the universal scepticism of Robertson 1 

for nominative may perhaps be assumed to have some syntactical 
ground, though it is hard to find one. But occasional lapses like 
the agreement of instr. and locative in Ys 3 1 13 (as Prof. Jackson 
notes) may be the exceptions that prove the rule. 

1 The mention of Mr J. M. Robertson reminds me that the 
historicity of Zarathushtra goes the same way as that of every other 
notable figure of religious origins in his Pagan Christs" Menu [sic /], 
Lycurgus, Numa, Moses " (op. cit.^, 238), with of course Buddha and 
Jesus of Nazareth. It is ill arguing with a polymath who can set 
Prof. Rhys Davids right about Buddhism, and all the Iranists about 
Parsism except, by the way, Geldner and Bartholomae, of whom 
he does not seem to have heard ! The cool confidence with which 
he declares the Gathas inconsistent with the reality of Zarathushtra s 


and Drews. The Zarathushtra of the Gathas is 
historical, and in my judgement he himself is speak 
ing there, wholly or nearly so. 1 And here, as I have 
indicated, I am only echoing all the most recent 
criticism. Geldner and Bartholomae are emphatic 
on the subject, and Prof. Jackson endorses what I 
have written here. (He notes incidentally that 
"when Zarathushtra speaks in the third person, he 
is simply anticipating by a millennium and a half all 
other Persian poets.") If this claim is allowed, we 
see the last possibility vanish of dating the poems 
late enough to be influenced by Platonism, for we 
certainly can find no room for him in any part of 
Iran that could feel Greek influence during the 
centuries of Achsemenian and Arsacide rule. 

The only live question as to the age of the Gathas 
concerns our choice between the traditional date and 
a higher antiquity. Since a large proportion of the 
Gathic verses distinctly profess to come from Zara 
thushtra himself, and parts which do not so profess 
show every sign of contemporary date, we may treat 
the antiquity of the Prophet and that of the Gathas 
together : there is no discoverable argument for dis 
trusting the overwhelming impression that the hymns 

person will only induce those who have really studied the Gathas to 
discount other dicta in this work of biassed and unscientific learning 
"pre-philological," as Dr F. C. Conybeare well called it in his 
severe review (Literary Guide and Rationalist Review, Dec. 1912). 

1 Prof. Soderblom says (La Vie Future, 245), " C est au vii e siecle 
que Ton peut placer, au plus lard, Zarathustra et peut-etre les Gathas 
qui sont pourtant, selon toute vraisemblance, considerablement 
posterieures au prophete." It seems to me that there are many 
passages in the Gathas which become unintelligible if we separate 

them from the Founder s own circle. 



make upon our minds when the mythological microbe 
has been removed. For an earlier date to quote 
only writers later than Prof. Jackson s classical dis 
sertation 1 stand Profs. Geldner and Bartholomae. 
The former says 2 : 

If, then, the gathas reach back to the time of Zoroaster, 
and he himself, according to the most probable estimate, 
lived as early as the fourteenth century B.C., the oldest 
component parts of the A vesta are hardly inferior in age to 
the oldest Vedic hymns. 

And Prof. Bartholomae writes (AirWb 1675, s.v. 
ZaraQuUrd) : 

While I hold fast to Zarathushtra s historical character, 
I regard it as hopeless to determine precisely the period of 
his appearance. According to the native chronology (see 
West, SEE xlvii., p. xxviii), Zarathushtra s birth falls 
in the year 660 B.C., and Jackson (Zoroaster, 174) regards 
this as essentially reliable : " The period . . . just before the 
Achaemenian power (is) the approximate date of Zoroaster s 
life." I believe we shall have to begin decidedly further 
back ; and I estimate Jackson s investigation as Tiele does 
in Geschichte der Religion in Altertum? ii. 275 and 430. 

Bartholomae s ipse dixit in rejecting Jackson s 
argument will carry much weight, but I hardly think 
that the reasons he actually states are very weighty. 
The general criticism of Jackson s Zoroaster, that it 

1 See his Zoroaster, pp. 150 ff., where ancient views of the date of 
Zarathushtra are summed up, and the case presented for the date 
that stands in the Parsi tradition, viz. 660-583 B.C. His argument 
is endorsed by Justi, Casartelli, and West. 

2 Enc. Brit. 11 , xxi. 246. But in xxviii. 1041 he quotes E. Meyer s 
date, viz. 1000 B.C., and adds : "This, in its turn, may be too high, 
but, in any case, Zoroaster belongs to a prehistoric era." The 
volumes of the new edition boast their simultaneousness, but here 
an exercise in higher criticism seems to detect a time interval and 
a change of view. 


sets down a mass of matter, probable and improbable, 
without attempting to sift it, may or may not be 
justified : for my part, I have never read the book as 
suggesting that Prof. Jackson accepts all or any of 
the non-Gathic stories he collects. But in any case 
it cannot apply to a dissertation in which the author 
does most elaborately sift and discuss the credibility 
of the various elements in the tradition. Nor does 
it seem to me that the native chronology stands con 
demned because in Yt 13 97 the holy Saena is credited 
with a hundred pupils, and the chronology further 
makes him born on the centenary of the Religion, to 
die on its bicentenary. We might take something 
off all these centuries and yet hold that other elements 
in the system are approximately sound. 1 say this, 
though myself frankly unconvinced that the tradi 
tional date of Zarathushtra is early enough. I do 
not feel that we can dogmatise, but I cannot help 
rather accentuating Prof. Jackson s own admission 
that we could do with a longer time allowance. I will 
just state the desiderata, and leave the case, as I fear it 
must be left, with the traditional date as a minimum 
antiquity and a desire for a few more generations. 

To begin with, we seem to need time to bring 
Gathic nearer in date to the Veda. The closeness of 
Gathic and Vedic is extremely marked, and, as already 
observed, the Gathic is in many respects the more 
primitive. Vedic metre is decidedly more advanced 
than Gathic, as we saw just now. 1 Now of course 

1 See p. 1 4. In connection with Aryan Metrik it is interesting to 
note the Gathic vaf, "sing praise," which properly means "weave" 
(cf. pai/^wSos). The development of meaning implies a rather long 
poetical tradition, well established before the Aryan tribes divided. 


we can argue that a poetical school might develop in 
two generations what ten generations might not 
produce in a kindred people with a less decided taste. 
And since the Iranians remained within the area 
occupied by the united Aryan people, 1 we can plead 
that they would naturally change in language less 
rapidly than the tribes which migrated into the new 
environment of India. Further, it may well be argued 
that we cannot date the Vedic poetry safely within a 
good many centuries, though expert opinion seems 
generally to assume that its earlier developments at 
least lie well beyond the limits of the first millennium 
B.C. But when we have allowed for all these considera 
tions, a feeling remains that we have not removed an 
a priori probability that a very few centuries at most 
should separate the two literatures, and that therefore 
we must put the Gathas as early as we can. 

Next comes the problem of fitting in the Gatha 
Haptanghaiti. It is in prose, but this must not weigh 
with us ; for the prose, being uniform, was doubtless 
due to deliberate choice, and not to the disappearance 
of Gathic ars metrica. But while it is in the Gathic 
dialect, and must apparently come from an age when 
the dialect was still a living idiom, its range of ideas 
differs startlingly from that of the verse Gathas. 
The most characteristic conceptions of Zarathushtra 
are thrust out by those of the old Aryan nature- 
worship. Apart from Ys 42, which Prof. Mills treats 
as an appendix (probably enough), the name of 
Zarathushtra does not appear ; and if we give up our 
claim that the Amesha Spenta were in some sense his 
special creation, we might put this Gatha before the 

1 See ERPP, 31 f. 


Prophet s time. It is, however, highly unlikely that 
prose should appear so early, and we seem compelled 
to allow the lapse of time enough to account for the 
gap that separates these compositions from the Gathas 
proper. Include Ys 42 (or its second stanza, which 
alone mentions Zarathushtra), and we are in a com 
munity that worships the Prophet but ignores the 
spirit of his teaching : omit it, and we see the 
Mazdayasnian folk as oblivious of him as the royal 
author of the Behistan Inscription. Either alternative 
demands an adequate interval of time, unless perhaps 
place will serve, and the seven chapters may come 
from a district untouched as yet by the Reform. This 
involves (1) that the dialect of the postulated district 
was identical, or had been assimilated to the Gathic 
in transmission, and (2) that the Ameshas are older 
than the Reform and independent of it. This question 
we must discuss separately. Under this heading, 
then, again we have a problem of which the easiest 
and simplest solution comes by way of an enlarged 
time limit, though the argument admits of alterna 
tives. We look at the case for the tradition, and once 
more we are left indecisively balancing probabilities. 

Thirdly, we need time most of all for the immense 
development that lies between Gathas and Yashts. 
As in the Gatha Haptanghaiti, there has been here a 
most marked return to the Aryan religion as it was 
before the Reform, and in thought as in metre the 
Yashts lie closer to Indian models than anything in 
the Gathas. There is also here the decidedly later 
form of the language. It may very possibly (see p. 23 f. ) 
be connected with geographical separation. But here 
there is also the certainty of later date, which has 


produced inter alia the apotheosis of Zarathushtra. 
Unless we are minded to excise all references to the 
Founder as belonging to another age though on the 
verse test many of them must be as old as any other 
part of the Yashts we have to grant a considerable 
period for the growth of this total revolution in the 
conception of Zarathushtra and the religion. And if 
we ask how late we may put the earliest Yashts, we 
are met with a chorus of vetoes when we try to get 
past Alexander. Are two and a half centuries long 
enough to account for all these developments ? I 
cannot pronounce the emphatic No. But I think the 
considerations here advanced may make us disposed 
to hear the counsel for the tradition and then bring 
in a verdict of Not Proven. 

On the subject of the date of the Yashts it is 
necessary to say a little more, since their date more 
or less affects the antiquity of the Gathas. I am on 
this matter in complete agreement with my friend 
Prof. Jackson, who places the Yashts in the period 
just before Alexander. Notices of Zarathushtra s 
successor Saena influence his decision, and the re 
markable coincidence of the Anahita Yasht with the 
records of Artaxerxes Mnemon and his encouragement 
of her cult. As we shall see in Lecture II., the 
accounts we possess of the religious conditions of the 
later Achsemenian period suit the contents of the 
Yashts very closely. That the two centuries allowed 
by this date give room for the Gathas is to me, as I 
have said, increasingly hard to believe, when the two 
gaps have to be allowed for between the verse 
Gathas and the Haptanghaiti, and between this and 
the Yashts. 


There are, however, one or two other indications of 
date in the Later Avesta which should be examined, 
the more so as they affect the fundamental inquiry 
as to the districts from which we may assume the 
various parts of the Avesta to have come. I have 
sought further the help of my friend Mr E. W. 
Maunder of Greenwich Observatory, as to the data 
provided by the Tishtrya Yasht. 1 He now raises a 
difficulty affecting the latitude. The four " Regent " 
stars, guarding the four quarters of the sky, seem to 
be identifiable as Sirius (Tistrya], the Great Bear 
(Hapto-iringa], Vega (f^anant), and Fomalhaut 
(Satavaesa), the first two being quite certain and the 
last two most probable. These stars would all be 
above the horizon together, and not far from it for 

1 See note in ERPP, 132: it will be convenient to quote it : 
" On this point, where the authorities differ considerably, and there 
is no evidence how far the opinions expressed are supported by 
experts in a field very far away from that of the Zendist, I have 
thought it well to consult my friend the Rev. R. Killip, F.R.A.S., 
who has kindly secured for me a further opinion from Mr E. W. 
Maunder of Greenwich Observatory. Mr Maunder, assuming the 
latitude 38 N. (about that of Merv) and the epoch of 400 B.C., 
says that at the moment of Sirius rising (E.S.E.), Fomalhaut was 
setting (S.W. by S.), Vega being 18 high (N.W. by W.) and 
the Great Bear wholly visible, with rj on the meridian, sub-polar. 
f Reviewing the whole problem, the most symmetrical solution would 
obviously be to take the four as Sirius, Fomalhaut, Vega, and Charles 
Wain. All four would be close to the horizon, and would be 90 
apart, the figure being a little slewed round with regard to the 
meridian. Mr Maunder discusses some other stars, and makes 
some interesting suggestions as to the possibility of using the 
legend for determining the date a tempting line, but beyond our 
limits here. The stars I have given are the same as those for which 
Geiger decides (Civilisation of the Eastern Iranians, i. 141), but he 
puts Satavaesa in the West, wrongly interpreting the Pahlavi evi 
dence (Bartholomae)." See Bd 2 7 (SEE, v. 12). 


the latitude 38 N. and the epoch 400 B.C. They lie 
about 90 apart, and when Sirius is rising they would 
guard respectively the East, North, West and South. 1 
But Mr Maunder now notes that it seems "very 
unlikely that even in the clear air of the Iranian 
plateau two stars would attract attention at the 
moment when both were on the horizon, and one of 
them [Fomalhaut] was setting ; and even if they were 
noticed they would only be seen together for a few 
moments." " If we take latitude 30, then Sirius, 
Fomalhaut, and Vega, and the seven stars of the 
Great Bear, would be visible together at the rising of 
Sirius from about 300 B.C. to 800 B.C. They would 
all be above the horizon together for a considerably 
longer period, but either Fomalhaut or the star at 
the tip of the Bear s tail would be getting too near 
the horizon to make it likely that it would be actually 
observed." So far we are being led to seek the Yasht 
country in Arachosia, which would suit very well, 
especially as it enables us to locate the Gathas in the 
north, in Bactria, and the Yashts half way towards 
India : their closer relation to the Vedas is noted 

But there are more serious difficulties to come. 
The Yasht seems to point unmistakably to the period 
of the heliacal rising of Sirius, the time when after 
seventy days invisibility he first emerges victorious 
and shines in the morning before the rising of the 
Sun. But Mr Maunder notes that "when Sirius 
rises heliacally the other stars practically disappear. 
The dawn would overcome all the fainter stars." 
Further, for latitude 30 and 400 B.C., the heliacal 
1 More exactly, S.E., N.E., N.W., and S.W. 


rising of Sirius was about July 13 : it is some three 
weeks later now. " But on the Iranian plateau, 
anywhere you like to take from the Gulf of Oman to 
the Caspian Sea, or further north to Merv, July is 
one of the driest months of the year. It is, indeed, 
the beginning of the rainless season. The rains of 
the whole region between the Persian Gulf and 
Turkestan are winter rains beginning in November." 
It seems clear that these facts knock a very serious 
hole in our interpretation of the Yasht and drive us 
to find its meaning in a very different quarter. 

And here my astronomer helpers are ready with 
a suggestion which is little less than sensational. 
"Reading the Tir Yasht again, my wife and I are 
greatly impressed, and the impression has grown with 
every reading, that it is practically, in mythological 
guise, a description of the breaking of the south 
west monsoon. But this is Indian, and does not 
spread to Persia. If, therefore, Tistar means the 
heliacal rising of Sirius, it would suit very well 
meteorologically for the breaking of the monsoon in 
the regions round Delhi, Ajmir, Jaipur, and that 

Did then the Tishtrya myth originate in India ? 
If it did, Mr Maunder s information further helps us. 
" If we could go as far south as 25 degrees, then 
the four chieftains would all be visible together at 
the rising of Sirius from about 900 B.C. as far back as 
I have gone, which is about 1800 B.C." Now, suppose 
the myth is really Indian, and arose well back in the 
second millennium. We are very short of straw for 
our bricks, but I cannot resist a tentative effort, even 
if the brick is doomed to crumble under criticism. 


Might the Tishtrya myth be one relic of a prehistoric 
migration out of India backwards to the north-west, 
of which the Indian gods at Boghaz-keui (p. 5) 
mark the limit ? I see no a priori reason why there 
should not have been an ebb of the tide : some tribes 
after trying India for a generation or two might well 
strike back for some reason or other. If something 
of this kind happened, we have an additional stimulus 
for the primitive Aryan religious conditions observable 
in the Yashts, and for other features in which we see 
them markedly nearer Indian conditions than the 
much older Gathas. 1 

Before I leave this astronomical speculation I 
may mention that Mrs Maunder has been examining 
the date of the original form of the Bundahish 2 and 

1 For a perhaps rather daring speculation as to the prehistoric 
movements of the Aryan-speaking tribes, I may refer to my essay 
referred to above (p. 5, note). Here I have examined the 
linguistic affinity of Sanskrit with the West Indo-European 
languages. The whole mass of the satam languages cuts off Sanskrit 
from them ; and yet they agree in the preservation of a distinction 
between bhdhgh and bdg, which the satam groups confused. 
Certain other affinities suggest that a Germanic tribe migrated 
very rapidly from the West, perhaps in the middle of the second 
millennium, before the Indo-European dialects were very much 
differentiated, and imposed their language on a satsm folk in 
Bactria or the neighbourhood. When the Indian section pushed 
southwards, the language of the Gathic people left behind was 
gradually assimilated to the Iranian around. The reader is asked 
not to judge the theory from this summary ! 

2 In The Observatory, October 1912. In the two following months 
Mrs Maunder pursues the subject, and I am very sorry that I cannot 
stay to summarise her argument, which students of the Parsi classics 
ought to read. But I must mention that she and Mr Maunder, 
who reinforces her argument in a letter to me, try to prove that 
Tistrya in the Yasht means not Sirius but the Sun. Their sti-ongest 
proof is that in the Bundahish account of the conflict with Apaosha, 


arguing for the middle of the first century A.D. I must 
not stay to comment on this interesting conclusion, 
which only indirectly concerns "Early Zoroastrianism." 
But as I must quote the Bundahish often, on the as 
sumption that it contains much fairly early matter, it 
is worth chronicling that an acute specialist in another 
field of research sees reason to place it at this rela 
tively early epoch. With this let us pass on to another 
possible chronological datum of a different kind. 

The nineteenth Yasht, as Darmesteter observes, 
" would serve as a short history of the Iranian 
monarchy, an abridged Shah Nameh." If so, we 
can hardly help attaching significance of some kind 
to its silences. The royal succession comes down to 
Vishtaspa, and passes on immediately to Saoshyant 
(who in the Yashts is a purely supernatural figure), to 
appear in the future at the Frashokereti. It seems 
fair to argue that the Yasht could hardly have omitted 
the great names of Cyrus and Darius, if it was 
composed in Persia several centuries after their time. 
But here as usual the argumentum e silentio admits 
of a good many alternatives. A section in honour of 

Tishtrya is said to be "in Cancer," which of course no orthodox 
Dogstar could be. I should have to assume that the Bundahish 
source was a little "mixed " in its astronomy, unless Mrs Maunder s 
hint can be used that " Sirius rose heliacally at Delhi when the 
Sun was in Cancer, in the month Tir, and the breaking of the 
monsoon was in suspense." That Greek writers [late, with the 
doubtful exception of Archilochus] confuse the Dogstar and the Sun 
suggests to Mr Maunder that the brightest of the stars was regarded 
as his representative. But Greek evidence, at anyrate, seems to 
make the star name come first. In the Excursus (p. 435 f.) I suggest 
that Tira was distinct from Tistrya and used to represent the 
planet Mercury. The clear statement of Plutarch (below, p. 402) 
shows that Sirius was very prominent in the Magian system. 


Darius and his successors might even have been 
suppressed under the Arsacides, more philhellene 
than the Greeks themselves; or other causes might 
be invoked to explain a loss which was so painfully 
easy in centuries in which it is the survival and not 
the disappearance of Avestan texts that moves our 
wonder. Or, again, geographical separation may be the 
key to our problem. We can hardly study the long 
lists of manifestly genuine but utterly unknown names 
in Yt 13 without asking whether the scene of all this 
mysterious literature may not lie in some part of Iran 
which has never entered the stream of history. Here 
again, then, we are making bricks without straw. 

A terminus a quo seems to be presented with 
considerable probability in Yt 13 16 , on which I may 
repeat what I wrote recently in ERPP, p. 141 f. 

" In I. 16 we read how the Fravashis cause a man to 
be born who is a master in assemblies and skilled in 
sacred lore, so that he comes away from debate 
a victor over Gaotama. Now Gotama, which 
answers exactly to this, is a Vedic proper name, and 
Bartholomae is satisfied with recognising an other 
wise unknown unbeliever. Geldner (in 1877) took 
it as a common noun. But the temptation to see 
here Gautama the Buddha is extremely strong. 
Darrnesteter says that Buddhism had established a 
footing in Western Iran as early as the second century 
B.C. Prof. Cowell used to point out that pra$na, 
the cognate of the word rendered debate just now, 
was a prominent word in Buddhism. 1 On the same 

1 But it must be noted thatfrasna appears in Yt 5 sl , where the 
wizard Aytya asks 99 questions of the holy Yoista, which he answers : 
the wizard is an Iranian Sphinx, but rather resembles this "Gaotema." 


side is a concise and telling argument in Prof. 
Jackson s Zoroaster, p. 177 f. Accepting this view, 
first suggested by Haug, we are, in Darmesteter s 
opinion, brought down to the age of the Arsacid 
dynasty ; but there hardly seems adequate reason for 
rejecting the possibility that isolated missionaries of 
Buddhism might have been found in Iran many 
generations earlier, and Prof. Jackson gives a good 
argument for this earlier date drawn from the Yasht 
itself. One might even hazard the suggestion that 
the mistake by which the name of Gautama is trans 
ferred to a man who preached Gautama s gospel, may 
be due to the very fact that the preaching was thus 
isolated, that Buddhism was still almost unknown." 

Prof. Jackson (I.e.) points out that in I. 97 of the 
same Yasht mention is made of Saena, whose date 
is on the traditional chronology 531-431 B.C. (see 
above, p. 19), and who " might therefore have been 
a contemporary with Buddha." "In the case of 
Gaot9ma as of Saena," Prof. Jackson proceeds, "the 
Yasht may be alluding to one who is born after 
Zarathushtra, and may be hurling anathemas against 
an opposing and heretical religion (and that religion 
Buddhism) which began to flourish about the same 
time as the Yasht may have been written." 

One witness from antiquity should be mentioned 
before we leave the subject, especially as it might 
seem to tell in favour of the Sassanian date of the 
Avesta. In the latter half of the third century A.D. 
the philosopher Porphyry writes thus the original 
may be seen in Jackson s Zoroaster, p. 243 : 

Yourself, Porphyrius, have written several criticisms upon 
the book of Zoroaster, showing it to be a recent forgery 


concocted by partisans of the sect [of the Gnostics, 
apparently] with a view to commending doctrines they 
have set themselves to propagate as if they came from the 
ancient Zoroaster. 

Now of course these words would be completely 
justified if, as Darmesteter asserted, the part of the 
Sassanian king Ardashir (211-241 A.D.) and his high 
priest Tansar in gathering the Avestan texts was that 
of composition rather than collection. And it is no 
part of our case to deny that Tansar busied himself 
in both ways. Porphyry is not likely to have secured 
first-hand witness of what happened at the court of 
the Persian king ; and there would be little difficulty 
in making out a plausible case for a wholesale forgery 
of Zoroastrian texts in the fervour of the revival. 
But the philosopher s language suits much better 
some Gnostic work, an anticipation of Manichean 
teaching which used the hoary name of the Iranian 
Prophet after the familiar manner of pseudepigraphic 
literature. Vishtaspa s name was notoriously thus 
employed. I need not further argue that even if 
Porphyry was accurately recalling the literary activity 
of the newly established Sassanians, which began not 
long before he was born, our case for the antiquity of 
the Gathas is not affected. 

One more argument bearing on the date of the 
Gathas remains to be mentioned. Prof. Eduard 
Meyer, with Geldner s approval, urges from the 
appearance of Mazdaka as a proper name in Media as 
early as 715 B.C. that "the Zoroastrian religion must 
even then have been predominant in Media " (Geldner 
in Enc. Brit.}. But, as Prof. Jackson notes, the 
name in question may come from mazdah just as well 


as Mazdah : even in the Gathas the word is not 
invariably a proper name. But there is a far stronger 
piece of evidence than the name Mazdaka could 
supply, even if we allowed that it is a theophoric 
appellation. Prof. Hommel s discovery of the divine 
name Assara Mazas in an Assyrian inscription of the 
reign of Assur-bani-pal l involves an antiquity for the 
name Ahura Mazdah higher than any scholar could 
venture to assign to Zarathushtra, whose claim to the 
authorship of this characteristic title must, I fear, be 
abandoned. The inscription itself is rather later than 
the date of the name Mazdaka, but the archaic form 
of Ahura Mazdah s name takes us back at least into 
the second millennium, and some way back. To the 
phonetic indications described elsewhere 2 may be 
added the fact that Assara Mazas is followed by the 
seven good spirits of heaven (Igigi] and the seven 
evil spirits of earth (Anunnaki}. This means that 
the deity has been pretty thoroughly assimilated to 
Semitic conditions, as we shall see when we come to 
discuss the bearing of these facts on the problem of 
the Amshaspands. Phonetic and historical evidence 
therefore converge on the deduction that the name 
Ahura Mazdah, in an earlier form, was in existence 
long before Zarathushtra. Asura - Ahura being 
already a generic name for the highest deities, we 
have to postulate the addition of a cult epithet " the 
Wise," attached to one great deity 3 ; some would say 

1 See Proceedings of the Society for Biblical Archaeology, 1899, 
p. 132. I have to thank Dr C. H. W. Johns for the reference, the 
importance of which has been largely overlooked. 

2 See the detached note below, p. 422 f. 

3 I may mention here a daring conjecture of my friend Prof. 
H. M. Chadwick. Starting from the fact that the Semitists seem 


Varuna, who in the Veda forms a pair with Mitra, as 
Ahura and Mithra do in the Yasht addressed to the 
latter. Probably this took place in a very limited 
circle, so that long after on the Behistan Rock Ahura 
Mazdah could be called " god of the Aryans," that is, 
presumably the nobles of Aryan race living among 
a people largely or mainly of a different stock, 
indigenous to the country. 

I pass on from what might seem to be a digression, 
were it not that candour seems to demand the 
examination of an argument which proves to con 
tribute nothing reliable towards the evidence for the 
antiquity of the Gathas. We shall not need it, I 
venture to urge, after weighing the considerations 
already brought forward. The position of Cumont 
must be sketched before we leave the Avesta. One 
sentence will, however, suffice for our present purpose. 
" A fact which cannot to-day be contested," he 
says, 1 " is that Avestan Zoroastrianism, whatever its 
antiquity, was not practised by all the inhabitants of 
ancient Iran." He emphasises the contrasts between 
the Avestan ritual and the cultus of the Achaamenian 
kings, points out that Mithraism is nearer to their 
religion than is the teaching of the Avesta, and 
observes that not the Amshaspands but Mithra and 
Anahita first appeared as sharers of Auramazda s 
throne and made an impression on the Graeco- Roman 

very doubtful about the meaning and etymology of the great god 
Asshur, he suggests that it may have been simply Asura adapted. 
Hommel s discovery would encourage the possibility, one would 
think ; but the Semitists must be left to deal with the suggestion. 
If accepted, we have fresh arguments for a cultus of this Aryan 
deity long before Zarathushtra. 
1 Textes ei Monuments, p. 4. 


world. All this we shall have to meet later on, but 
it may be said at once that geographical separation 
will account for it quite as well as a theory that 
makes the Amshaspands late. This, however, is 
Darmesteter s position, not Cumont s, for the latter is 
at pains to show (see below, p. 104 f., 430 f.) that all 
six of them supplied names for the Cappadocian 
Calendar some centuries B.C. If, apart from this 
exception and the evidence of the Later Avesta, the 
Amshaspands are invisible until the first century, it 
is only because the Reform was slow in making its 
way among the people of Western Iran, if indeed it 
ever did so, until the Sassanian era : it seems to have 
remained in the West the religion of the more intel 
lectual classes which is extremely natural. And 
when we find Cumont feeling strongly the difficulty 
of postulating early date for poems so recondite and 
abstract as the Gathas, is it not enough to reply that a 
great religious genius is always far beyond his age ? 1 
With the Avesta we must class the mass of the 

1 To these notes on Prof. Cumont s position I might append one 
on a point made by him in a Congress paper reported in RHR 
xxxvi. 26l. He calls the Avesta the work of a closed reforming 
caste not anterior to the Sassanides which for its present form 
we admit. He goes on to say that the texts do not allow us to 
decide whether there was a rudimentary Avesta in Achaemenian 
and Arsacide ages. Basil and Eznik say the Magi had no books, 
while Pausanias attributes some to them. Are we to regard Basil 
and Eznik as better witnesses than Hermippus ? (The remark of 
Dr S. Reinach in the discussion, that the frequent comparison of 
Magi and Druids proves the former to have had no book, strikes 
me as curiously inconclusive.) After all, if Magi in certain districts 
did not use a sacred book, it agrees with all we expect to find from 
)ther indications: elsewhere we know they had such. Prof. Cumont 
ndicated that a reconciliation of the data was possible. 


later Pahlavi literature, of which The Sacred Books of 
the East contains a very important selection. Since 
these all fall in a late period, a millennium or more 
after the date we have fixed for our limit, they can 
of course only be used incidentally. That they can 
be used at all is due to the evident fact that they 
contain a large though indeterminate amount of 
Avestan matter otherwise lost some of it decidedly 
early, as we saw above, p. 26 f. The extreme 
difficulty of determining the date of the late prose 
contained in the Avesta itself, which includes the 
bulk of the Vendidad, is of course even exceeded 
by the problem that meets us when we try to 
speculate on the antiquity of Avestan fragments 
contained in Pahlavi books, or in passages written in 
Pahlavi which claim to be paraphrased from lost 
Avestan matter. The grammatical chaos which pre 
vails so often in prose parts of the Avesta, or in 
what appear to be interpolations of prose inserted in 
the older verse, demonstrates that the later Avestan 
dialect was dead when these belated efforts at com 
position were made. They may therefore very well 
be due to the Sassanian editors themselves, to whom 
in any case we owe the collection and preservation of 
our Avesta. But unless on any point we happen to 
have datable Greek witness, we are left to conjecture 
when we try to determine the antiquity of elements for 
which Pahlavi writers are our only Iranian authority. 
The old Persian Inscriptions, and especially those 
on the great Behistan Rock, are a tempting subject 
for digression, but I must keep to relevant matter, 
which in this case goes very little beyond bare 
mention. The interpretation of the inscriptional 


data affecting religion will come before us in the 
second Lecture. The far-reaching consequences of 
the colossal achievement by which the men of the 
early nineteenth century read the secret of Darius 
are apparent to all students of cuneiform-written 
languages to-day. The task of decipherment seems 
to be finally accomplished now ; and the would-be 
gleaner at Behistan, equipped as he must be with the 
faculties of the Alpine climber as well as of the 
scholar, has little prospect of new discoveries. There 
is something specially fascinating about the one piece 
of modern writing which Prof. \A^illiams Jackson dis 
covered on the face of the Rock below the records 
of Darius. The habit of courting immortality by 
cutting names on rock or building or tree is attested 
in papyrus letters from ancient Egypt and in too 
frequent irritations of modern experience. But for 
one indulgence of this kind the sternest censor will 
feel nothing but sympathy. " With an iron pen 
graven in the rock for ever," may be read below the 


H. C. RAWLINSON, 1844; 

and those who can best appreciate one of the most 
splendid triumphs of the brain of man will be readiest 
to allow that name its right to stand there. 

Upon the rest of our Iranian sources we need not 
dwell, for they will come up when wanted for special 
purposes. The newly discovered treasures of Turfan 
lie far outside our period, but that they are eminently 
relevant will be speedily realised by anyone who reads 
the supplement, one quarter the size of the original 
book, which Bartholomae has added to his Dictionary. 
Much later still is Firdausi s Shah Nameh, but we 


shall find frequently that its stores of ancient Iranian 
saga and folklore will help us in our study of the 
origins of Zoroastrianism. 

Finally we come to the Greek and Latin writers, who 
afford us evidence of the utmost importance because 
of the precision with which we can generally date their 
information. Before Anquetil Duperron brought the 
Avesta to Europe, the classical sources were naturally 
almost the only evidence upon which historians of 
Persian religion could rely. Thomas Hyde s great 
book, which indirectly stimulated Anquetil s fine 
ambition, was published more than two centuries ago, 
but remains a valuable tool to-day because of its 
treatment of material accessible before Avesta or 
Inscriptions were known. A few of the most im 
portant loci classici will be found translated and 
annotated below. 1 The limitations of these foreign 
testimonies were easily allowed for, and I think 
experience gives the inquirer a higher sense of their 
value. This is especially the case with our oldest 
witness, Herodotus, to whom alone I need refer in 
this context. I leave to historians very cheerfully 
the duty of estimating the general reliability of the 
" Father of History " ; but I must bear my testimony 
to his character as a source for the delineation of the 
popular religion of Persia in the fifth century. Thirty 
years ago Prof. Sayce brought out an edition of the 
first three books which in many ways seemed intended 
to be an up-to-date reissue of the ancient tract De 
Malignitate Herodoti. I am not qualified to express 

1 Herodotus, i. 131-140 (p. 391 if.); Plutarch, his and Osiris, 
46 f. (p. 399 ff.) ; Strabo, xv. 3, 13 ff. (p. 407 ff.) ; Diogenes Laertius, 
Procem. ad init, (p. 410 ff.). 


an opinion as to the bulk of the Professor s strictures, 
which range over a large proportion of the field ap 
propriated by one of the most encylopsedic Orientalists 
of our time. But in the corner of that field in which I 
have tried to work I have found that a generation of 
research has antiquated not the ancient historian but 
his modern annotator. Some of the grounds of this 
opinion will, I hope, make themselves apparent in the 
later pages of this volume. 1 

Our survey needs only to be completed by a bare 
reference to epigraphic sources to which reference 
will occasionally be made. A rescript of Darius 
comes to us in Greek, and a long inscription from 
King Antiochus of Commagene (first century B.C.). 2 
Coins of the Indo-Scythian kings, in Greek letters, 
afford some important indirect evidence that we shall 
have to weigh. And there are the monuments of 
Mithraism, scattered all over Europe, which will be 
borne in mind during sundry parts of our inquiry, 
although we shall shortly realise that their direct 
connexion with the subject is but small. I have by 
no means exhausted the list of sources which we shall 
have to study, but I have said enough to prepare for 
the investigations that will follow. 

1 I need hardly say that I do not suggest the indiscriminate 
acceptance of Persian material in Herodotus. He could make 
Darius, for instance, talk Greek in more senses than one (e.g. in. 
72). But the line is generally easy to draw. 

2 The text of the " Gadatas " inscription of Darius may be seen 
with Dittenberger s notes in his Sylloge Inscriptionum Grcecarum, 
1-4 (No. 2). Those on the monument of Antiochus of Commagene 
are in the same great epigraphist s Orientis Greed Inscriptiones 
Selectee, 591 ff. (Nos. 383-401). The religious importance of the 
Antiochus inscriptions is discussed below, p. 106 f. 



The Persian zealous to reject 
Altar and image, and the inclusive walls 
And roofs of temples built by human hands 
To loftiest heights ascending, from their tops, 
With myrtle- wreathed tiara on his brow, 
Presented sacrifice to moon and stars, 
And to the winds and mother elements, 
And the whole circle of the heavens, for him 
A sensitive existence, and a God, 
With lifted hands invoked, and songs of praise. 

WORDSWORTH, The Excursion, book iv. 

WE are not ready yet to study the personality and 
the work of the thinker and prophet whose name 
gives us our subject. It is never possible to under 
stand a religious reform without first understanding 
that which was reformed. So I must prepare the way 
further for Zarathushtra by investigating the beliefs 
and practices of the people to whom he came. It in 
volves anticipating some subjects the proper place for 
which will come later on, but I must repeat my assump 
tion that the foundations and framework of the Zoro- 
astrian system are known. I am not, as I said before, 
attempting a complete exposition of Zoroastrianism 
as it stands, but inquiring into its origin, growth, and 
essential character ; and for this purpose the order I am 
adopting seems least open to practical disadvantage. 



There are, as I read the history, two main strands 
in the rope, apart from that which Zarathushtra 
himself supplies. One of these will form the subject 
of inquiry when we have examined the history and 
teaching of the Prophet himself; for it seems fairly 
certain that it was outside his own knowledge, though 
in existence before his time. The work of the Magi, 
as we shall see, was to build on Zarathushtra s 
foundation a superstructure which (to put it very 
moderately) was not in all respects after Zarathushtra s 
style. The question before us now is the religious 
position of the people to whom he came. What 
were the beliefs which he inherited, which he had to 
accept, to adapt, or to reject? Our evidence for this 
inquiry will be of very varied character. We examine 
by the comparative method the prehistoric conditions 
of the Aryan -speaking tribes before their division 
into Indian and Iranian as indicated in Lecture I. 
We pursue our researches into the period of the 
Achiemenian kings in Persia, and from their monu 
ments and the works of the Greek historians, especially 
Herodotus, we try to picture the religion of the court 
and of the people. 

The first question which should be settled is that 
concerning the religion of the early Achasmenian 
kings. The debate on this famous problem is perhaps 
not likely to be closed with any decisiveness, the data 
being curiously ambiguous. I cannot present the 
material here, but it is really unnecessary, as it has 
been done so well by experts who (for once) do not 
require us to go outside English. Indeed, there is 
a penny pamphlet by Bishop Casartelli which supplies 
all the quotations that are really germane to the 


subject, with the comments of a scholar who carries 
the utmost weight. 1 Of a more technical character 
is the very full discussion by Prof. Williams Jackson 
and Dr L. H. Gray. 2 Dr Gray gives us a careful 
summary in his excellent article on the Achasmenians. 3 
With researches of outstanding importance available 
for every reader, I may content myself with merely 
stating my own view and offering a few comments. 

We begin with Cyrus. His position might seem 
to be removed from the range of discussion by the 
summary dictum of Prof. Eduard Meyer that "it 
cannot be doubted by any unprejudiced mind that 
Cyrus was a Zoroastrian. " It will be seen from his 
words quoted below that this is mainly an inference 
from the Zoroastrianism of Darius, which Meyer 
asserts is patent from every word of his Inscription. 
The specialists are by no means so clear about Darius, 
and in the case of Cyrus it is hardly too much to say 
that the "prejudice" which Meyer s dictum implies 
in any who question it seems to have afflicted them 
with distressing uniformity. Dr L. H. Gray remarks 
that " there is no evidence whatever to show that he 
was a Zoroastrian." Dr Casartelli records the doubt 
whether Cyrus was an " Auramazdean " like Darius, 

The Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions of that famous 
conqueror portray him rather as a polytheist, inasmuch as 
he proclaims himself to the Babylonians the servant and 

1 - The Religion of the Great Kings (Catholic Truth Society). 

2 Journal of the American Oriental Society, xxi. (1901), p. 164-184. 

3 ERE, i. 69-72 (1908). 

4 Enc. Brit., xxi. 205 : cf. Gesch. d. Alt., iii. 21 (". . . wird, wer die 
Sachlage besonnen iiberlegt, nicht bezweifeln ; sonst miisste die 
Religion bei Darius als Neuerung auftreten "). 


the worshipper of the Assyrio-Babylonian gods. . . . This 
it may at least be supposed was done in order to please 
his new subjects, and to gain the favour of the powerful 
sacerdotal body. 

That Meyer s ipse dixit in itself would be accepted 
more readily than almost anyone s is undeniable, and 
in questioning it here I am rather denying than yield 
ing to a " prejudice." We have nothing whatever 
from Cyrus s own hand which could possibly bear 
on the question, except the " Cylinder Inscription " 
with its profession of loyalty to Marduk, and the 
rescript in Ezra (I 2 3 ) where he declares that 
Yahweh is God. I do not draw the conclusion that 
Cyrus was a polytheist, for Darius, the fervent wor 
shipper of Mazdah, makes the like concessions to his 
foreign subjects ; but they will hardly be claimed 
as evidence that he really adored only the deity 
who is not mentioned ! Of course, in the absence of 
Old Persian inscriptions from him, 1 the silence about 
Mazdah is intelligible enough. But it will not do for 
us to compensate for the silence by a mere " doubt 
less," which is all too often the cloak for a total 
absence of evidence. We have in fact only two 
sources of information to eke out Meyer s not very 
conclusive argument about the improbability that 
Darius was an innovator. We turn naturally to the 
Cylinder for what it may give us, which certainly is 
very little indeed. 2 The one conspicuous point we 

1 The Murghab inscription (" I am Cyrus the King, the 
Achaemenian " ) will not help us even if it were quite certain 
that it does not belong to Cyrus the Younger, who might be 
X$(iya6iya in the same sense as Darius s ancestors had the title. 

2 C. J. Ball, Light from the East, p. 224 f., translates the 
inscription. A microscopic criticism might note that Cyrus is 


observe is the relation in which the great king stands 
to Marduk of Babylon. The theory of local divinities 
could not be more emphatically stated. Marduk is 
angry because Nabonidus, anxious to make Marduk 
supreme, had removed the shrines and images of the 
local deities to Babylon, which was his own locality. 
They in turn are angry at being removed away from 
their own place. So Cyrus, restoring all to their 
homes, and establishing Marduk as lord in Babylon, 
supreme because Babylon itself had such primacy, 
enjoys the favour of all the gods alike. 

Dr Gray seeks for material in the Cyropccdia of 
Xenophon, and very acutely points out 1 that its 
subtle coincidences with our Iranian evidence make 
its testimony much less negligible than it is usually 
supposed to be. I think he makes a strong case, but 
that he has omitted to show how Xenophon bridged 
the gulf of a century and a half between Cyrus and 
his own Persian travels. When, on the strength of 
Xenophon s evidence, which Dr Gray thinks the most 
reliable we have, the religion of Cyrus is inferred to 
be nearest to that set forth in the Later Avesta, we 
note the proof as striking and helpful, but for the 
religion of Artaxerxes Mnemon rather than that of 
Cyrus. If we regard Cyrus as probably a Mazdean 
not a Zoroastrian, however it will be because 
Ahura Mazdah was " god of the Aryans " (p. 32), and 
Cyrus belonged to an eminently Aryan clan. If it 

again and again "King of the Four Regions" (N., S., E., W.), 
which is an obvious contrast to the Seven Kargvars of the Later 
Avestan. But of course Cyrus (or his Babylonian secretary) uses 
the idioms as well as the language of Babylon. 
1 ERE, i. 70. 


was possible to be a Mazdean without ever having 
heard of Zaruthushtra, we have nothing left as proof, 
and next to nothing amounting to a presumption, that 
Cyrus had come in contact with the Reform. His 
creed was more probably the popular Iranian nature- 
worship described so accurately by Herodotus in the 
locus classicus we shall be taking up presently. In 
many particulars its elemental worship would agree 
sufficiently with Babylonian and Elamite ; and " the 
God of heaven" in the Ezra rescript suits his own 
religious phraseology perfectly, especially if his chief 
god was Diyaus, the sky. 1 Since he and his ances 
tors ruled in a country which was not Iranian, we 
naturally expect to find non- Aryan traits in any 
account of him and his ideas. 

One solitary scrap of evidence in favour of Cyrus s 
connexion with Zoroastrianism I am bound to present 
before I leave him, and 1 believe the point valeat 
quantum ! is new. He called his daughter Atossa, 
which is identified with the Avestan Hutaosd. This 
was the name of Vishtaspa s queen ; and of course 
the name of Vishtaspa himself, Zarathushtra s royal 
patron, was perpetuated in the Achaemenian family, 
in Hystaspes the father of Darius. I do not think 
the double coincidence can be accidental. How much 
does it prove ? We will return to this when we 
come to Darius, from whom we are detained for a 
moment by the intervention of Cambyses. It seems 
almost grotesque to discuss the religion of one whom 
only the accident of birth and time rescued from 
segregation as a criminal lunatic. But maniac though 
he was, we should expect him to be restrained by 
1 On this see below, pp. 60 f., 391 f. 


superstition ; and it is therefore significant that he 
had no fear of the wrath of the sacred element when 
he burnt the corpse of Amasis. 1 This fact may 
be put with similar notes from the life of Xerxes, 
and with the well-known argument from the burial 
of the Achsemenian kings, to show that the Magi 
had not yet come upon the scene : for all this see 
p. 215 f. The other fact about Cambyses religion 
is the Egyptian text, quoted by Dr Gray, which 
shows him worshipping the goddess Neit at Sais, as 
Darius did after him. He acted presumably from a 
very real fear of the possible consequences of offending 
the local gods in foreign countries, where omne ignotum 
pro magnifico probably counted more heavily than the 
politic motives which preponderated with statesmen 
like Cyrus and Darius. 

Before we pass on to consider the religion of 
Darius, a man for whom religion was obviously a 
very real experience, we may look into some questions 
concerning the Achaemenians in general. I quoted 
just now what seems to be Prof. E. Meyer s one 
reason for regarding Cyrus as a Zoroastrian his 
unwillingness to make Darius an innovator. It is 
important, therefore, to notice considerations leading 
us to postulate a rather marked difference between the 
two branches of the Ha\ilmani$iya clan. Cyrus was 
king in Elam, while Darius expressly claims that his 
ancestors were "royal" from Achsemenes down, and 
possessed " this kingdom which Gaumata the Magian 
took from Cambyses . . . both Persia and Media and 
the other provinces" (Bh i. 12). Media at any rate was 
not ruled by Achaemenians before Cyrus ; but Persia 
1 Herodotus, iii. 16. 


may well have been. Cyrus reigned over a people 
among whom Aryans were at best a small minority, 1 
but his own Aryan descent 2 is emphatically endorsed 
by the statement of Darius that he was " of our 
family" (Bh i. 10), that is, the Achsemenian. Accord 
ing to the Assyrian inscription of Cyrus, he was son of 
" King Cambyses of the city Ansan," who was son of 
Cyrus, son of Teispes, both also Kings of Ansan. 
This makes Hystaspes, Darius s father, third cousin 
to Cyrus, Teispes (Caispis) being a common ancestor. 
If we are to take Darius literally, we can make him 
" ninth " in royalty by counting the royal line of 
Ansan from Achiemenes to Cyrus, fifth in succession, 
and then adding the (younger ?) branch Ariaramnes, 
Arsames, Hystaspes, Darius. The difficulty is that 
neither Hystaspes nor his father and grandfather are 
ever called kings. If they exercised any kind of 
royalty, it must have been in some other province, 
such as Parthia, where Hystaspes wins a victory for 
Darius in Bh ii. 16. It may be noticed that Darius 

1 Compare E. Meyer s statement (Enc. Brit. 11 , xxi. 203) that the 
kings of the Mitanni on the Euphrates bore Iranian names, but 
ruled over people speaking lion- Iranian language. Meyer, by the 
way, makes the Medes Iranian : they reached W. Iran before 
900 B.C. 

2 The names Kurus and Kambujiya are of disputed etymology, 
but there is no reason whatever to doubt their being Aryan. I do not 
think there has been any suggestion more attractive than that made 
long ago by Spiegel (Altpers. Keilinsch. 2 , 96) that they attach them 
selves to Skt Kuru and Kamboja, originally Aryan heroes of fable, 
whose names were naturally revived in a royal house. Spiegel 
thinks that the myths about Cyrus may have originated in confusion 
between the historical and the mythical heroes. (Kamboja is a 
geographical name, and so is Kuru often : hence their appearance 
in Iranian similarly to-day as Kur and Kamoj.) 


does not say his ancestors were " Great Kings " like 
himself, or the ancestors of Cyrus in the latter s 
inscription above referred to (quoted from Spiegel, 
op. cit. 84). A more local sovranty will satisfy his 

Suppose, then, that Darius s branch of the family 
were chieftains in Parthia, where Hystaspes is found 
after his son had won the supreme throne. We 
remember, of course, that Herodotus tells us that he 
was inrapxos in Persia. If we had to choose between 
Herodotus and the Behistan record, the Greek historian 
must naturally yield. But there is no real difficulty, 
for when Darius was once on the throne his satraps 
could be moved very easily, and he would naturally 
wish to have his father nearer to his own court. But 
when it was a matter of quelling a serious rebellion, 
probably among the subject population, there would 
be obvious advantages in sending Hystaspes to a 
country over which he and his ancestors had ruled. 
On this conjecture, then, Parthia becomes an earlier 
settlement of the conquering Aryan invaders, from 
which a prince of the Achasmenian house, Cyrus s 
ancestor, went on to conquer Elam. 

Now Parthia is exactly the district in which we 
should expect to find the earliest traces of Zoro- 
astrianism proper. Lying east of " Zoroastrian 
Ragha," on the way towards Bactria, it suits equally 
well both the possible theories of Zarathushtra s sphere 
of teaching. He or his successors must have preached 
to the Parthians as soon as the Religion began to 
extend beyond its original home, whichever of the 
two centres may claim it. And this brings us to the 
remarkable coincidence noted above, in the recurrence 


of the names of Vishtaspa and his queen Hutaosa 
in the father of Darius and the daughter of Cyrus. 
Antiquity even tended to confuse the two royal 
Vishtaspas, which may be taken as a slight indication 
that the name was not common. The repetition of 
this very significant name in the family of a monarch 
whose Zoroastrian faith is attested by many lines of 
evidence, as we shall show, is by itself suggestive. 
But of course, if Vishtaspa s name is significant for 
Darius s branch of the Achsemenians, Hutaosa s must 
be equally significant for that of Cyrus. The names 
must at least prove, I think, that the memory of 
the great king was kept alive in both branches 
of the family ; nor is it unlikely that it was cherished 
on religious as well as on secular grounds. But 
when we remember how quickly after Zarathushtra s 
time all but the most superficial features of his 
teaching were practically lost, and only rediscovered 
in an esoteric circle by the preservation of the 
Gathas in worship a subject which will come before 
us in Lecture III. we realise that to prove Cyrus 
a Zoroastrian in any effective sense demands evidence 
that his ancestors had maintained the traditional 
lore in a country where the religion of the people 
was wholly alien in spirit, and in the face of a 
powerful tendency, observable in all the metrical 
Later Avesta itself, to fall back upon the old Iranian 
nature- worship. As a great champion of Mazdah- 
worship Vishtaspa might well be commemorated 
in Cyrus s family ; but there is complete absence of 
proof that for Cyrus his name signified more than 
this, which we have seen to be on other grounds 
very probable. 


This brings us to ask what tests we should apply to 
determine the presence of elements due to Zarathush- 
tra s Reform. We saw in the last Lecture that the 
worship of Ahura Mazdah must be abandoned for this 
purpose, however reluctantly, since there is conclusive 
reason to believe that he was adored in a tribe which 
could contribute to the Assyrian pantheon centuries 
before the earliest possible epoch for Zarathushtra s 
mission. The sacrifice of this test is a most serious 
complication in our problem, and may even preclude 
the possibility of any really decisive solution. But in 
the case of Darius we have really strong evidence to 
support the conclusion of Prof. Geldner that " Darius 
and his successors were without doubt devoted adher 
ents of Zoroastrianism." 1 Meyer s difficulty as to a 
religious innovation is met by E. W. West s proof 
that Darius probably reformed the Calendar in a 
Zoroastrian direction ; see SBE, xlvii. pp. xliii-xlvii. 
That Darius was a fervent w r orshipper of Auramazda 
may not prove Zarathushtra s influence, but it is of 
course consistent with it. But what of his failure to 
mention Zarathushtra himself, Angra Mainyu, and the 
Amesha Spenta ? The first omission is intelligible 
enough, if the Prophet was a figure of the distant 
past, but not yet elevated (by Magian theology) into 
a supernatural being. Taking the Gathas as generally 
representative of Darius s religion, we might fairly 
say that the omission is no stranger than that of Paul s 
name would be in a historical rescript by some pious 
medieval king, perpetually ascribing his triumphs to 
the grace of " God and Our Lady," but silent about 
the Apostles, to whose writings he would of course 

1 Enc. Brit., s.v. " Zoroaster." 


attribute the whole of his religious belief. 1 As to 
the absence of Angra Mainyu, the usual answer is 
probably sufficient, that the spirit of Zarathushtra s 
doctrine is adequately reproduced by the frequent 
mention of " the Lie " (drauga), which appears in the 
Avesta as draoga, and (in a different flexion) as )ruj. 
Now, as we shall see later on, it is actually not true 
that Angra Mainyu was Zarathushtra s name for the 
Evil Spirit. The combination only occurs once in the 
Gathas (Ys 45 2 , see pp. 135 f., 370), and it is there no 
more a proper name than is the corresponding English 
when Milton calls Satan " Enemy of God and man." 
The name for the Evil Spirit in the Gathas is nearly 
twenty times Druj, " the Lie." I point out (below, 
p. 136) that the Later Avestan transference of this 
casual appellation, which thus became a proper name, 
is really the work of the Magi, and very possibly de 
pends upon an association of the two words " enemy " 
and " liar," which actually occurs in Darius s inscrip 
tion. That being so, we can see that the king s 
language is most remarkably in accord with the 

1 My parallel does not convince Dr Casartelli, who writes (May 4, 
1913): " Don t you think the omission of Z. s name in the Royal 
Inscription a much more extraordinary one than that of Paul (or 
Peter for the matter of that) in a medieval text ? Would it not 
be nearer to the entire omission of the name of Buddha in Asoka s 
Inscriptions, or of Mohammed in Islamitic ones ? " I must naturally 
lay some weight on my doctrine that in Darius s day the more 
abstruse features of Zarathushtra s teaching such as his personal 
relation to his followers at the Last Day had been dimmed by 
time. And the practical apotheosis of the Prophet, which seems 
necessary for Dr Casartelli s comparisons, was on my theory entirely 
the work of the Magi, and later than Darius. Nor is Zarathushtra s 
absence more remarkable than it is in the Haptanghaiti, if we take 
the one occurrence as a later addition. 



Gathas, since every form of evil reduces itself to this 
one term. Every rebel chief " lies," not merely when 
like Gaumata he personates a member of the royal 
house, but when he simply leads the native population 
in an effort to shake off the Achsemenian yoke. The 
objection accordingly turns to a positive argument 
in favour of Darius s acceptance of Zarathushtra s 

The one really serious omission having thus ex 
plained itself, we need not trouble very much over 
the absence of the Amshaspands from Darius s great 
Inscription. We shall be seeing later on (p. 431 f.) 
that the Parsi Calendar is traced on strong evidence to 
Darius, and that the present names of the months 
therein bear very strong marks of his hand. If this 
is true, these most characteristic of Zarathushtra s 
concepts were exceedingly familiar to Darius, and 
their absence from State documents needs no elaborate 
explanation. But indeed there are not wanting fairly 
close parallels to ideas included within this innermost 
circle of Zarathushtra s thought. Thus the recurrent 
vaSna Auramazdaha (forty-one times in Darius s in 
scriptions), "by grace or will of Auramazda," differs 
little from Vohu Manah in such passages as Ys 33 10 , 
vohu u-xsya manavha . . . tanum, " bless my body by 
the Good Mind." When Darius says (Bh i. 5) 
Auramazda y$a&am mana frdbara, "Auramazda 
gave me the kingdom," he means a kingdom of 
this world ; but the two worlds were in the Persian 
mind so closely parallel that the x^ a ^ a f Auramazda 
would be a necessary corollary to that of his earthly 
vicegerent. Then we might say that siyatis, " wel 
fare," which in the recurrent formula Auramazda 


"made for man," is not far away from Haurvatat, 
the Amesha. That the conception of Truth was 
supreme in Persian ethics needs no proof; and Asha 
included this as its primary element, as Plutarch s 
rendering A\jJ0a illustrates, and the fact that Asha 
is the avriTexyo? of the Druj. So if the Amesha 
were not formally present, the ideas which lay behind 
them as divine attributes were not far away. We 
may add the recently restored arstdm in Bh. iv. 13, 
conjectured by Foy and then read by Jackson on the 
Rock : this is an abstract word (for arfltatQm), " up 
rightness," almost exactly identical with the Avestan 
yazata, closely akin to the Amesha in character, 
Arstdt ( = arsta-tdt], to which it answers like iuventa 
to iuventas in Latin. Less significant, but not quite 
negligible, is the occurrence in the Inscription of 
one Avestan fiend, that of Drought (Dusiydrd, Av. 
Duzydiryd, qs. *3wrpla). Dr Gray notes also the 
mention of the other great affliction of the agri 
culturist, the nomad "horde" (O.P. haina, Av. 
haend), associated with Drought in both texts. 

The negative argument for Darius s Zoroastrian 
position may be noted before we begin to face the 
arguments con. Darius is of course no monotheist 
in the strict sense of the word any more than the 
pre-prophetic Israelites, who regarded Yahweh as 
supreme, but believed the gods of the nations to be 
regnant powers in their own lands. Darius acknow 
ledges occasionally the help of Auramazda " and the 
other gods that exist " (utd aniyd bagdha tyaiy hantiy}? 
or A. M. hadd viOaibis or viOibis bagaibis? "with all 
the gods " or " with the clan gods " : which of the two 

1 Eh 4 12 al. 2 Dar. Pers. d 3 . 


readings must be taken we cannot determine finally. 
The meaning of baga comes out well in the Persepolis 
inscription of Artaxerxes III. (Ochus], where we find 
mam Auramazdci utd M { 9ra baga pdtuv, " may A. M. 
and the baga Mithra protect me." Now Auramazda 
is maQista bagdndm, 1 "greatest ofbagas" and in the oft- 
repeated creed of Darius and his successors 2 he is 
expressly baga vazarka, just as Darius himself is 
XSdyaOiya vazar/ca. But it looks as if even in the 
days of Artaxerxes III. the godhead of Auramazda 
was so high above that of the " other gods " that he 
and Mithra would never be called bagdha conjointly, 
any more than the " Great King " would have shared 
the title -^dyaBiya with the inferior kings who are 
implied in the title \ScLya6iya ysdyaQiyandm. We 
have therefore a subordination of other divinities 
as emphatic as in the Gathas themselves ; and the 
Oca? Oewv is the same as in Zarathushtra s preaching. 
So near an approach to monotheism we can hardly 
trace to coincidence ; and, in spite of many difficulties, 
it seems best to regard Zarathushtra as the ultimate 
author of the creed which so obviously comes from 
Darius s heart of hearts on the columns of triumphant 
exultation at Behistan. 

So we may turn to the difficulties. These are 
forcibly put by Dr Gray, in his summary of the 
evidence from non-Iranian texts (op. cit. p. 180, and the 
more recent article in ERE, i. 69-73). Darius speaks 
(Bh i. 14) of the "places of worship" (dyadand) which 
he restored after Gaumata the Magian had destroyed 

1 Bartholomae (AirWb, 292 f.) points out the parallel mazisto 
vazatanqm in Yt 17 16 . 

2 See p. 122 below. 


them. Here the Babylonian and the New Susian 
versions alike render " houses of the gods." Dr Gray 
is " inclined to consider ayadana as including not 
only the fire-altars of the ancient Persians, but the 
fanes of nations subject to the sway of Darius." This 
tolerance, he says, was not " in harmony with Zoro- 
astrian teaching " : it was a " politic course," " like that 
of Cyrus when he not only sent back the captive 
gods from Kutu, but also built them their temples 
anew (Cylinder Inscr. 32), or when he restored the 
Temple at Jerusalem." (It may be noted in passing 
that Prof. Hommel 1 takes a very different view of 
this action of the Magus. According to him, Gaumata, 
being a Magian, and therefore a Mede, shared the 
Persian horror of temples and destroyed them as an 
act of fanaticism : Darius restored them out of respect 
for the popular beliefs. Hommel thinks Darius 
was the first to introduce Avestan religion into the 
Persian kingdom, with certain concessions to popular 
feeling. Why I entirely dissociate the Magi from 
the Aryan population I have explained in Lecture VI.) 
Similarly to return to Dr Gray " Cambyses re 
paired the desecrated temple of Neit at Sais, and with 
a spirit quite as alien to that of the Zoroastrian 
reform." Dr Gray quotes next after an argument 
in favour of " all the gods " rather than " clan gods " 
(see above), on evidence drawn from the versions 
the well-known Gadatas inscription of Darius. 2 In 
this rescript, preserved for us in an Ionic Greek form 
on a stone some five centuries after Darius, the king 

1 Geographic (in Iwan Miiller s Handbuch d. klass. Altertumswissen- 
xcfutft), p. 201. 

2 See p. 37 : he cites II."- 28 . 


sharply chides a satrap for violating the sanctity of a 

precinct of Apollo, ayvowv e/nwv Trpoyovwv e/? TOV 6eov [v~\ovv, 
o? Hepa-ai? etTre [7racr]a[v] arpexJ[t]fJ[v]. Dittenberger, 
whose supplements are printed here, understands the 
" ancestors " to be his predecessors Cyrus and 
Cambyses. Darius tells Gadatas l that he was mis 
representing him to Apollo s worshippers rtjv virep 
Oecov /ULOV SidOea-iv cxfravifyis. Here Dr Gray finds an almost 
"polytheistic" tone. But in an inscription found 
between Tralles and Magnesia, concerning (surely ?) a 
Greek god whose oracles, like those of Delphi, had 
been valued by Persian kings, we must expect to 
meet with language adapted to Greek conditions. 
Finally, Dr Gray quotes an Egyptian inscription in 
which Darius calls himself son of the goddess Neit, 
to whose special favour he owes his victory. 

These quotations, we may readily concede, show 
that Darius was no fanatic. His religious position 
was remarkably like that of King David, whose 
passionate devotion to Yahweh proved perfectly 
consistent with a conviction that leaving Yahweh s 
land involved entering the service of " other gods " 
(1 Sam. 26 19 ) ; or, again, that of Elisha, who seems 
to have acquiesced in Naaman s belief that he could 
only raise an altar to Yahweh on soil brought from 
Palestine. In foreign lands, therefore, the king must 
propitiate the gods of the soil, just as the Assyrians 
provided for the return of a native priest to teach 
" the manner of the god of the land " to their colonists 
whom they had planted in Samaria (2 Kings 17 26 ff.). 
According to ancient ideas there was quite as much 
real belief as there was " political shrewdness " in 

1 Who was surely not a " Greek/ as Dr Gray calls him. 


the action of Darius, Cyrus, and Cambyses towards 
foreign deities. Even Jews were practising a much 
more remarkable tolerance, as the new Aramaic 
papyri from Elephantine have shown us lately. 
Moreover, in any case we have no reason to credit 
Darius with the whole creed of the Gathas. He was 
probably further removed from Zarathushtra s day 
than was the Gatha Haptanghaiti ; but he is a better 
Zoroastrian than the authors of those prayers, on any 
showing, and less of a polytheist. 

One point of interest made by Dr Gray seems to 
tell distinctly against his general thesis. He tells us 
that whereas the Old Persian inscriptions, like the 
Avesta, 1 have the word " Lie " only in the singular, 
and in this are supported by the New Susian version, 
the Babylonian version " uses the plural of the corre 
sponding parsu * Lie in the two passages in which 
the word occurs," especially Bh i. 10, "the Lie 
became rife in the land." He infers very naturally 
that " the usage would seem to bespeak personifica 
tion among the Persians, but not among the Baby 
lonians "- who were thus, in fact, no Zoroastrians like 
the former. 

To the objections raised by Dr Gray with de 
cidedly less emphasis, if I understand him rightly, in 
his newest article (in ERE, i.) may be added one 
from Bishop Casartelli s pamphlet. Dr Casartelli 
presses the argument from the silence of Behistan as 
to Zarathushtra himself and Angra Mainyu, and 
declares himself unsatisfied with any of the " several 
ingenious solutions " which have been proposed for 
the problem of the differences between Behistan and 

1 [Yt] 24 29 is noted as no real exception, being late. 


the A vesta. The resemblances which I have tried 
to bring out seem to me so striking that I feel bound 
to add to the tale of attempted solutions, and cherish 
the fond hope that my learned friend may find it a 
less " rash theory " than its predecessors. He has a 
further difficulty in the silence of the Avesta about 
the Achaemenian kings, and the substitution of other 
great dynasties, Peshdadian and Kayanian, which are 
unknown to history. Can we meet this by urging 
(1) that the Avestan country is far away from those 
which enter the range of external history, and (2) 
that if (for instance) Acheemenian kings were praised 
in the Farvardin Yasht, there was no guarantee that 
the philhellene Arsacides would encourage the sur 
vival of those sections ? The harmless prehistoric 
monarchs had the best chance of this immortality. 

After much hesitation, therefore, and I frankly 
confess not a few pendulum swings from one side to 
the other, [ give my vote Aye when the question is 
put whether Zarathushtra comes into Darius s spiritual 
ancestry. I have given away, in deference to Hommel s 
inscription, the one evidence that would be absolutely 
decisive Zarathushtra s authorship of the cult title 
Mazddh. But though the other arguments could be 
countered severally with good replies, I think the 
balance turns in favour of the affirmative, and I accept 
it with the modifications already given. 

Finally, we have to ask what were the religious 
beliefs of Xerxes. The inquiry may be suspended 
here, since we have nothing whatever to discuss in 
the history of Artaxerxes Longimanus or Darius II., 
except the popular religion as observed by Herodotus 
in his travels during this period. Xerxes is almost 


as grievous a stumbling-block to defenders of the 
hereditary principle in absolute monarchy as Cambyses 
himself, and he lacks the excuse of insanity. Religion 
meant much less to him than to his great father, and 
we should naturally expect to find in his ideas an 
eclipse of the ethical theology of the Gathas and 
Darius, and a recrudescence of the popular Aryan 
superstitions. Herodotus (vii. 114) has a very in 
structive story, which (pace Dr Gray) 1 find entirely 
credible. Coming to a place called Nine Ways, the 
Magi buried alive nine boys and girls of the place. 
(The Magi at least are the subject of the preceding 
sentence, and it seems most natural to understand 
Herodotus to implicate them here of course wrongly 
as the agents of the king s superstition.) The 
historian goes on to observe 

" To bury alive is a Persian custom, for I learn that Amestris, 
the wife of Xerxes, when she grew old, buried fourteen children 
of distinguished Persians, endeavouring to propitiate on her own 
account the god who is said to dwell beneath the earth." l 

There are many other evidences that the Magi had 
not yet begun to push their propaganda against burial, 
and the idea that the Earth-spirit would be offended 
never entered, it is plain, minds wholly impervious 
to more important considerations. There are two or 
three instructive (and very horrible) pages in Prof. 
Jackson s Persia Past and Present (pp. 271-3), deal 
ing with the barbarous punishments still inflicted in 
Persia. One of these, the plastering up of the victim 
in gypsum, w r ith face exposed, and leaving him to die 
as a pillar by the roadside, is in principle not unlike 

1 The significance of this extremely interesting appellation will 
be considered in Lecture IV. (p. 128 f.). 


what Herodotus describes as Hepa-ntov long ago. And, 
as Prof. Jackson s informant observed in reporting 
another horror, Iran hamin ast, " Persia is always the 
same " ! Perhaps the well-known humanity of Russian 
manners will effect the needed change in the un 
willing pupil ! 

Two other hints are extracted by Dr Gray from 
the seventh book of Herodotus. Xerxes on arriving 
at the Hellespont sacrificed 1000 cows (/3o? ^tX/a?), TJ? 
A6V7 T>? IXta^i, while the Magi poured libations to the 
heroes : it is added that a panic fell on the host because 
these things had been done at night. 1 Dr Gray re 
stricts his citation to the point about the " 1000 oxen 
[M C]," and the correspondence with Yt 5 21 (etc.), where 
the sacrifice to Anahita is 100 male horses, 1000 oxen 
(or cows), and 10,000 sheep. The suggestion that this 
is an early notice of the Anahita cult is very interest 
ing, but the concomitants are unexplained, and we 
cannot be sure that the notice, like the regular appear 
ance of the Magi, is not an anachronism transferred 
from a later time. Still, there is no serious difficulty 
in believing that the cult had already begun to make 
its way. 2 It is further stated that Xerxes poured a 
libation into the sea and prayed to the rising sun 
(vii. 54). I see no necessity to bring in Mithra here, 
as Dr Gray does : the Sun was a yazata on his own 

1 This was a rather definite lapse into -the dacvayasna : see the 
note below (p. 129) on nocturnal sacrificing of cattle as condemned 
in the Gathas. If the notice of Herodotus (vii. 43) is sound, we 
must suppose that the spirit of the Reform had in this respect pene 
trated the soldiery. But I should hardly care to trust the detail : 
it is enough to assume that Herodotus had heard of the existence 
of orthodox objections to sacrifices by night. 

2 See on this subject, p. 238 f. 


account from of old. The libation probably agrees 
only by accident with Magian doctrine (p. 216 below). 
It was hardly Persian, for Aryan worship only con 
cerned the waters that nurtured plant life. But the 
sea had given Xerxes trouble before, and propitia 
tion would be politic now, even if it belonged to 
the Daevas. Dr Gray finally cites vii. 40, where the 
chariot of Xerxes follows "the sacred chariot of 
Zeus," drawn by eight white horses, whose driver 
went on foot, " for no man ascends this throne." I 
am myself inclined to recognise here, not Mazdah, to 
whom the symbolism is not specially appropriate, but 
the popular Sky-god to whom we shall be turning our 
attention presently. The general impression made 
by these notices is that if the religion of Darius 
suggests the Gathas of Zarathushtra, that of his son 
has its affinities in the " Seven-chapter Gatha " which 
marked the relapse into the old nature-worship. 
Everything we know of Xerxes makes us feel that 
it would suit him better. 

Let us turn now to the popular religion of Persia, 
as described for us with convincing and detailed 
accuracy by Herodotus. The locus dassicus is trans 
lated and annotated in the appendices, and I need 
only call attention to a few outstanding features. 
First let me call attention to its omissions. Without 
over-pressing the argumcntum ex silentio, we can 
assert positively enough that Herodotus never met 
with the name of Angra Mainyu, nor heard of the 
Prophet Zarathushtra. I have been explaining away 
Darius s silence about the Prophet, and noting that 
the absence of Angra does not need to be explained. 
But it really passes all probability that a writer like 


Herodotus should omit so interesting a figure as 
Zoroaster s if he ever heard of it. I think his silence 
must at least mean that his knowledge came from strata 
wholly untouched by Zarathushtra s teaching. So 
abstract and esoteric a doctrine was never likely to 
win popularity ; and if it was really known to Darius, 
the extent to which it spread beyond the royal circle 
must have been limited to a very few of its easiest 
conceptions. It was the Magi who popularised it by 
refraction, as we shall see. Ahura Mazdah himself 
is described on the Susian version of the Behistan 
Inscription as " god of the Aryans," and this probably 
gives us the estimate of the people in general. The 
"Aryans" in this context may well be simply the 
nobles, who had taken up the new cult, while the 
mass of their kin of lower rank continued to worship 
the old elemental daivas, with the Sky-god at their 
head. It will be remembered that the ApifyvToi were 
only one of the six tribes of the Medes in Hdt. i. 101 : 
there may have been other Aryans among these 
Median tribes, and the Persian ariyazantava would 
not be identical with the Median in their beliefs, if 
a new religion had made its way into Persia first. 

In the description which the historian gives of the 
Persian religion the central feature is the worship of 
the KVK\O? ovpavov upon mountain-tops. I have tried 
to prove in my note on the passage (p. 391-3) that 
" Zeus " here is not the Greek divine name transferred 
to the chief deity of another country as we have 
Zeus Oromazdes in Commagene and Zeus Ammon 
in Egypt, but the old South Indo-European deity of 
the Sky, the Indian Dyauh, whose name in Old Persian, 
especially in the accusative, genitive, and locative cases, 


would sound to a Greek very much like the name of 
his own Zeus. It is more than doubtful whether an 
elemental character can be assigned to Ahura Mazdah, 
even in the pre- Reformation age. It is true that 
Prof. Cumont claims for him in the Avesta itself 
"traces of his original character ... as the god 
of the bright sky." 1 But against this we may set 
Dr Hans Reichelt s comment 2 on Yt 13 3 : "Ahura 
Mazdah is the Varuna of Aryan times, the god of 
the night-heaven." And for this it may be pleaded 
that in the Later Avesta the old Aryan pair survives 
as MiBra Ahura, 3 a dvandva compound like the Vedic 
Mitra(u] Varund(u} : unless, then, we assert inde 
pendent origin, we must make Ahura = Varuna, as 
the Asura /car e^o^v. So scholars have largely agreed 
to read it : Geldner s words may be cited as typical 

In one Asura, whose Aryan original was Varuna, 
[Zarathushtra] concentrated the whole of the divine 
character, and conferred upon it the epithet of the 

."Wise." 4 

(But we cannot still hold the doctrine that the 
Reformer invented the name Mazdah.) If this is 
right, Ahura would necessarily be the night sky, if 
a Sky-god at all, for Mithra s prior claim on the light 
is certain. But really the evidence for Ahura s ele 
mental character is exceedingly weak at best, unless 
we are prepared to assert the same whenever a deity 
is said to be robed with stars or clothed with light. 

1 In Roscher, Lex. Myth., iii. 105 2 . I owe the reference to my 
friend Mr A. B. Cook. 

2 "The sky which Mazdah wears as a star-spangled robe" 
(Avesta Reader, 115: cf. 110). See p. 280 below. 

3 Ys l", Yt 10 113 145 . 

4 Enc. Brit. 11 , sub voce. 


It must be admitted, however, that the old Sky-god 
of the Aryans has left his traces in Iran abundantly 
enough, if only in deities who have stolen their 
thunder from its rightful lord. Here Mithra is 
emphatically the most conspicuous. I shall return 
immediately to his past, and deal with his ultimate 
future in Lecture IV. ; but I must first note this 
connexion with the sky, which, however explained, 
is unmistakable in the Yashts and kindred texts. In 
this regard, since too many scholars have been in 
a hurry to antedate the ultimate identification of 
Mithra with the Sun, I should emphasise the fact, 
properly insisted on by Tiele, 1 that he belongs to the 
night as well as the day. Tiele notes that in the 
Yashts he is " unsleeping," as in the Rigveda, and 
has myriad eyes. Since, however, 

The Night has a thousand eyes, 

And the Day but one ; 
Yet the light of the bright world dies 

With the dying Sun, 

the divinity of the bright sky is very naturally linked 
more and more with the greater light. 2 How the 
transition was made from Light to Sun is explained 

1 Religions gesch., 242 f. 

2 In proof of this important claim, Tiele refers to Yt 10 95 ff., 
where after sunset Mithra goes foi th with his club, touching both 
ends of the earth and surveying everything between earth and sky 
this last a touch in keeping with his character as /xecriV^s, lord 
of the middle region. Darmesteter (SEE, xxiii. 143) assumes that 
Mithra as the Sun has to retrace his steps during the night, quoting 
a Hindu belief that the Sun had a bright face and a dark one, 
turning the latter to the earth on its nightly journey back to the 
east. But this would not suit the idea of his watchful survey : 
the sky as illuminated by moon and stars gives us a preferable 


by no less an authority than Prof. Cumont, whose pro 
prietary rights in Mithraism everyone acknowledges. 
In his fascinating lectures on Oriental Religions in 
Ro?nan Paganism, 1 he tells us that the " learned 
theology of the Chaldseans imposed itself on primitive 
Mazdeism," and that " Ahura Mazda was assimilated 
to Bel, Anahita to Ishtar, and Mithra to Shamash 
the god of the Sun. That is why in the Roman 
Mysteries Mithra was commonly called Sol invictus, 
though he was really distinct from the Sun." 

When, however, the most has been made of the 
elemental features of Mithra, we are brought back to 
the ethical side as distinctly more conspicuous in 
Parsism, recalling the same dual character in the 
Roman Jupiter as Dius Fidius. 2 Prof. A. Meillet 
has even put in an elaborate plea 3 for regarding the 
ethical as Mithra s original function in the Aryan 
period. Both the branches of Aryan possess a 
common noun, mitrd-miQra-, meaning in Sanskrit 
"friendship" (neut.) or "friend" (masc.), and in 
Avestan "compact." They even coincide in possess 
ing a compound, Skt. mitradruh, " injuring a friend, 
treacherous," Av. miBro-druj, " breaking a compact " 
(also "trying to deceive Mithra"). Meillet regards 
this word as the original, and the Aryan divine name 
as derived from it. There are, he says, no elemental 
traits in the one Vedic hymn (Rv. iii. 59) addressed to 
Mitra. The transference of this ethical deity to the 
elemental sphere is due to the natural thought that 

1 Les Religions Orientates dans le Paganisme Romain, 2 p. 217. 

2 On this compare Warde Fowler, Religious Experience of the 
Roman People, 130 and 142. 

3 Journal Asiatique, 1897, ii. 143 ff. 


Light is the guardian of good faith : lying and 
treachery always love the darkness. The very 
ancient Roman deity Fides will be on the same plane ; 
and as the Roman abstract deities have a strong claim 
to be regarded as uralt, we might urge this feature of 
that very conservative religion as a point in Meillet s 
favour, when joined with the similar mixing of ethical 
and elemental ideas in Dius Fidius. Dr Fowler s 
quotation from Varro ("quidam negant sub tecto 
hunc deiurare oportere") is very suggestive in this 
connexion. Prof. Meillet recognises that Mithra s 
twin, the Indian Varuna, must be treated on similar 
lines if his theory is to have a chance. Now, of 
course, Varuna has the most strongly ethical functions 
of all the gods in the Indian pantheon ; and the 
difficulty of making him distinctively elemental is 
well illustrated by the differences of the pandits in 
rinding his proper sphere. I wonder whether he 
would ever have been so generally assumed to be the 
Sky if it had not been for the supposed necessity 
of identifying his name with the Greek Ovpavw ! 
Meillet boldly proposes a connexion with Skt vrata, 
"ordinance," Av. urvata, urvaiti, "contract," urvaQa, 
"friend." The coincidence is very striking, and I am 
more than half convinced. My only hesitation concerns 
Meillet s insistence that the elemental deity is evolved 
out of the ethical one. Is it not just as probable that 
there has been a fusion of two originally independent 
conceptions, just as the two figures of luppiter and 
Fides met in Dius Fidius ? I am encouraged in this 
suspicion by the silence of Prof. Brugmann, whose 
almost papal authority we all acknowledge in the 
sphere of comparative philology. He has a careful 



account of the origin of the common noun mitrd- 
miOra-, 1 but does not seem to deal anywhere with the 
name of the god, which, I infer, he regards as a distinct 
word. Now the two strains in the history of Mithra 
in Iran are remarkably distinct, and I am disposed to 
think that in attempting to unite them, whether on 
Meillet s lines or on those of the orthodox, we are 
sacrificing a valuable aid towards the solution of one 
of our most difficult problems. The possibility of 
foreign influence in the building up of what we call 
Mithraism is admitted for the later stages. Ought 
we to antedate it by several centuries, and suggest 
that as a god of the firmament, necrirw in a physical 
sense between heaven and earth, Mithra is essentially 
Semitic ? I was almost inclined to withdraw or to 
pass by in silence what I feared was a too venture 
some suggestion 2 that the remarkably similar Assyrian 

1 Grundriss*, n. i. 346. The etymological material, skilfully mar 
shalled by Meillet, may be conveniently seen in Walde, Lat. etym. 
Worterbuch? , 488 f. Etymology at any rate makes it certain that the 
Aryan common noun is primitive in form and meaning. The root mei 
(" austauschen, verkehren " Brugmann) is attested by Skt mdyate, 
"barter"; Lat. com-munis; Gothic ga-mains (Ger. gemein), and many 
other words : Brugmann makes the Aryan noun originally " freund- 
licher Verkehr." Meillet would like to recognise the interrelation of 
a second root, shown best in Lithuanian: we need not follow this up. 

2 ERPP, 37. The Assyrian word was supplied to me by one 
whom I must now (alas !) call my late colleague, Prof. Hope W. 
Hogg. Note that in an Assyrian inscription from the library of 
Assurbanipal, quoted in Zimmern, KAT 3 , 486, the name of Mithra 
is spelt Mi-it-ra. This proves the name current in Assyria from at 
least the seventh century. It involves, however, the sharp differ 
entiation between the divine name and the Assyrian for " rain " in 
one particular, the t being of different quality (Hebrew f| and J^ 
respectively). Of course the name of Mithra would naturally be 
reimported in an altered form from a foreign language. 



metru, " rain," was somehow concerned. But the 
reading of Meillet s paper has started me on a fresh 
clue, and I pursue my former line a little beyond the 
point to which I took it. Does not the existence of 
this Assyrian word for " rain " fit in singularly well 
with the curious partnership between Mithra and 
Anahita which appears at the very beginning of the 
worship of this goddess in Iranian lands? Our earliest 
notice of her (Herodotus, i. 131) expressly asserts 
her Semitic origin, which is supported on evidence 
drawn from many quarters : see pp. 288. 394. I have 
commented on the instructive mistake of Herodotus, 
who describes the cult of Anahita under the name 
Mirpa. Now if one member of this inseparable 
pair represented the waters above, and the other 
the rivers and springs below, we have an obvious 
reason for the association. We really ought to have 
some reason supplied by those who suggest that 
an Aryan Light-god was selected for adaptation as 
partner for a water-sprite in process of being fused 
with the West Asiatic Mother-goddess. On my 
theory we postulate Rain and River as a divine pair 
associated in some Semitic district. The former 
would easily develop a connexion with the firmament: 
compare Genesis (I 6 ), where we read of the solid 
canopy through which, when the sluices were opened, 
the rain came down. At this point we may conceive 
contact between Semitic and Aryan, with the almost 
identical names to prompt a new idea that the sky 
is the all-seeing witness which guarantees good faith 
in contracts of man with man. In the purely Iranian 
religion this never passed beyond an attribute applied 
to the ethical deity Mithra. By " purely Iranian " I 


mean here that strain of Avestan religion which was 
independent of Zarathushtra, and probably developed 
in a country into which his Reform did not penetrate. 
The Tenth Yasht is addressed to a Mithra whom 
Zarathushtra might not have disdained to acknow 
ledge. But, as we shall see, in his own country he 
seems to have been in contact with a Mithra cult 
that he could not countenance in any way. That 
was, if I am divining rightly, an elemental worship 
essentially akin to that which by further syncretism 
issued at last in the great system of Mithraism, a 
religion so totally distinct from that of the Avesta 
that we shall naturally leave it on one side except 
where it supplies a few scattered hints for our 
purpose. It is perhaps significant that Zarathushtra 
can use the common noun miQra with a religious 
meaning : " his vow and his ties of faith " ( Ys 46 5 ) 
actually adds the very word (urvaiti) with which 
Meillet identifies the root of Varuna. This is in 
welcome accord with the supposition that in the 
Gathic period miOra and MiOra were still consciously 
distinct words. 

It is time to pass on, and we have still some points 
of special interest to bring out from the great passage 
in Herodotus. His statement that the Persians used 
neither images nor shrines nor altars is supported 
by good evidence from various quarters. Genuine 
Parsism was, indeed, without images to the last. 
Porphyry * was true to the spirit of earlier Mazdeism 
and Iranian nature- worship, as well as the syncretic 
Parsism of his day, in his statement that " the body 
of Oromazdes is like light and his soul like truth." 

1 Quoted, p. 391 below. 


When Clement of Alexandria would convict the 
Persians of idolatry, he quotes Deinon 1 for the 
statement that they " sacrificed in the open air, 
accounting fire and water the only images of gods." 
It was only after many courses of years that 
Artaxerxes II. taught them to worship the image 
of Anahita. There were earlier apparent exceptions 
to the rule, in the figures of Ahura Mazdah sculptured 
on the Behistan Rock and elsewhere, but the Parsis 
have claimed that these represent only the Fravashi. 
The winged solar disk, an importation from Egypt, 
is a further exception ; and at a later period we have 
the highly syncretic cultus of Cappadocia, as de 
scribed by Strabo, 2 in which images of "Omanus" 
were carried in procession. Geldner has acutely 
compared Vd 19 20 " 25 , where a similar use of an 
image is very strongly suggested for Vohumanah, 
who is usually identified with Strabo s Omanus. But, 
after all, these deviations are on much the same 
footing as the Bethel Calf when set against the 
Second Commandment : the general spirit of the 
religion is unmistakable. 3 For a surface inconsistency 
as to shrines between Herodotus and Behistan, I 
may refer to my note below, p. 391. 

Altars, such as Greeks would recognise, were 
certainly absent. The sacrifice is very primitive in 
its character, consisting of flesh laid on a carpet of 
tender grass, to which the deity is invited to come 
down, the messenger being the sacred Fire. This 

1 Protrept., v. 65. For Deinon see the locus in Diogenes Laertius, 
and note thereon, below, p. 415. 

2 See the passage below, p. 409, and further notes on p. 101 f. 

3 See further, p. 96, and Soderblom, Fravashis, 68. 


has a close link with the Veda, where the grass 
carpet has a name which in the ritual of the Avesta 
has been modified to suit a Magian cult instrument, 
as we shall see later (p. 190). 

Many features of popular Persian religion 1 may 
leave to Herodotus as reproduced below, with com 
ments linking his record with our other information. 
It remains to make a few general remarks on its 
character, and add some notes on features which 
do not come out conspicuously in his account. 
The comparison of native Iranian religion with the 
earlier forms, depicted with masterly analysis by 
Prof. Otto Schrader in his monograph on Indo- 
European Religion, 1 shows how much of the primeval 
inheritance the Iranians retained much more, it 
would seem, than the Indo-Aryans. I have just 
discussed the chief example of the SondergGtter, or 
"special gods," whom Schrader regards as con 
spicuous in the primitive religion. Mithra, as god 
of Contracts, is by no means the only survival of 
this very ancient type. There is the genius of 
Victory, whom the Greeks as well as the Romans 
adored. Prof. Bartholomae renders vrtrahan-vard 
Trajan " assault-repelling, victorious," which implies 
that the Indian demon Vrtra was a creature of 
imaginative etymology, belonging to a period when 
the true meaning of vrtra was lost. The Later 
Avestan Verethraghna was simply the old Sondergott 
of war. It would perhaps be right to bring into 
this class the great Avestan Fire-spirit, who shares 
with the Earth (Aramaiti] the privilege of keeping 
under Zarathushtra the prominence he enjoyed in 

1 "Aryan Religion" in ERE, ii. 11-57. 


the unreformed Iranian religion. It would have 
been natural to include Fire with the Nature gods, 
as we certainly should do with the Indian Agni. 
But, as Prof. E. Lehmann points out, 1 the Indian 
tribes radically modified their inheritance in this 
matter when they migrated into a sub - tropical 
climate. Fire became for them the consumer of 
the sacrifice, which he bore up to the " heavenly 
ones " ; and with a new function he received a new 
name, Agni, cognate with the Romans ignis and the 
Lithuanian ugnis szwenta, " holy fire." But in Aryan 
days, as in Herodotus (i. 132) and the Avesta, the 
sacrifice was not burnt at all, but the gods were 
invited to come down and partake on the spot. 
The sacred fire was called Atar, the house fire, 
with which name we compare the Latin atrium, 
the room that contained the hearth. Northern 
tribes continued to regard this institution as under 
the patronage of a specially important Sonder- 
gott : Eo-r/a and Vesta are obvious witnesses, and 
Atar is of their company. With the migra 
tion southwards the hearth fire necessarily disap 
peared. It is suggestive to compare the change of 
the old word tepos, which connoted grateful warmth 
in Italy, and perhaps gave the Scyths in their 
inhospitable country a goddess Tahiti. 2 In India 
tapas is " penance " ! Lehmann shows how Atar 
was the great purifier who illuminated the night, 
kept off bitter cold and wild beasts, and destroyed 
noxious and devilish powers generally. The myth 
of Atar s victory over the serpent Azi Dahdka is 

1 In Saussaye s Handbuch, p. 183. 

2 But see Hirt, Die Indogermanen, ii. 587. 


characteristically Iranian, and goes back to the old 
nomadic life when the tribes were ranging over 
the steppes. But indeed it goes back further still, 
if we may compare with Lehmann such Germanic 
myths as Loki s binding by Thor. With the Sonder- 
gotter we may also set two other very different 
conceptions, or sets of conceptions. On the one 
side is Soma-Haoma, the drink of immortality, sug 
gested to us at this point by the remarkable omission 
of Herodotus, who says that the Persians used " no 
libation " at their sacrifice. Against this negative we 
have the strongest evidence that the Sondergott of 
the sacred intoxicant exercised his power in Aryan 
days. Tiele 1 would solve the problem by making 
the cultus late, arising first in a district lying between 
India and Iran, and spreading N.W. and S.E. The 
theory breaks down on conclusive evidence that 
Haoma was known and banned by Zarathushtra 
himself. In Vedic India Soma was, like the Avestan 
Haoma duraosa (" Averter of death "), a drink of im 
mortality, and was closely connected with the moon. 
The crescent in the tropical evening descends the sky 
with the horns pointing up to the zenith, suggesting 
to primitive fancy a cup that was being filled by 
the gods of the firmament with a draught of silver 
hue, to be quaffed at the banquet when the day 
was done. Soma was prepared by crushing the 
stalk of a plant, not yet identified, which, when 
fermented, produced a drink strongly alcoholic in 
character. This feature survives in the Gathas, for 
Zarathushtra sternly ignores the name of the divine 
drink, and makes unmistakable allusions to the evil 

1 Religionsgesch., ii. 234. 


results of such a cult. Orgiastic nocturnal sacri 
fices, 1 held perhaps in honour of Mithra, Slayer of 
the Bull, and under the inspiration of Haoma, 
were among the grievances of quiet Mazdayasnian 
agriculturists against the Daevayasnian nomads. 
" When wilt thou smite the pollution of this in 
toxicant ? " says the Prophet ( Ys 48 10 ) ; and though 
the Magian guardians of his hymns took care that 
Haoma should not be named, we can hardly doubt 
that he was meant. Indeed, there is one place (Ys 
32 14 ) where his standing epithet duraosa gives us 
an unambiguous reference : the enemies of the 
Religion promote a slaying of cattle " that it may 
kindle the Averter of Death to help us." ! 

A similar connexion between Haoma and the 
syncretic figure of Mithra, the Slayer of the Bull, 
might be recognised in the notice preserved by 
Ctesias, 3 that the Persian king used to get drunk 
on the one day of the year when they sacrificed to 
Mithra. In the period of the Yashts, which seems 
to have been the age of the kings, Haoma reappears 
in all his glory. The most elaborate and best pre 
served of all the hymns is dedicated to him, the only 
one which still retains its verse character through 
out. But we gather that the Iranian Bacchus has 
in the interval signed the pledge. There is no sug- 

1 It is possible that these orgies included other elements. Dr 
Tisdall suggests (Mythic Christs and the True, p. 12) that the con 
fusion in Herodotus between Mithra and Anahita may point to 
ritual immorality in Mithra-worship, resembling what the historian 
knew of in the cult of Ishtar. 

2 Hence Vohumanah significantly supplants Mithra as lord of 

3 And Douris : see Cumont, Textes, ii. 10. 


gestion of alcohol, and Haoma is a magical, mystical 
drink which to all appearance is harmless enough, 
whether it bestowed immortality or no. I am 
inclined to suggest that the plant used for this 
purpose failed the people as they migrated west 
ward out of the land where Zarathushtra preached 
and taught his Gathas. Later substitutes lacked 
the very element that made Haoma hateful to the 
Prophet and attractive to the reveller. And in 
another part of Iran the failure of the original 
plant might well cause the disappearance of the 
whole ritual, and make the Persian sacrifice lose 
the "libation" which in Aryan times was its necessary 
accompaniment. The fact that Xerxes poured a 
libation into the sea, as noted above, may be re 
membered as showing that Herodotus is not quite 
consistent. And there are one or two theophoric 
names, with Hauma as first element, which we 
must not overlook. Haumad&ta occurs as a Persian 
name in the Aramaic papyri of Elephantine, at the 
date 459 B.C. 1 The Scythians of Haumauarka (?) are 
named on the Behistan Rock, but of course their prov 
enance removes them from Persian surroundings. 

Last in this class of deities we may note those 
which were destined to be adapted by Zarathushtra 
for use in his abstract system. The comparison with 
Roman religion, at which we have hinted already, 
prepares us to believe in the primitive antiquity of 
shadowy powers that might well seem to us too 
advanced for an early period in the development of 
thought. But it seems undeniable that Rta-Asa is 

1 According to Prof. E. Meyer, Der Papyrus fund von Elephantine, 

. 28. 


an Aryan conception, the principle of order, conceived 
as under the guardianship of the highest gods. 1 Nor 
was this the only Amshaspand which Zarathushtra 
thus adapted. The connexion of his \saQr -a, 
" Dominion," with metals may be built on a pre 
existing Sondergott as well as on the idea of the 
eschatological ordeal ; see p. 98. Aramaiti, the 
Earth, and Haurvatat and Ameretat, in their con 
nexion with Water and Plants, belong to the type 
of Nature powers. 

We come into a different sphere when we turn 
from these abstract divinities, presiding over special 
provinces of human life, to the *Deivds of Indo- 
European religion, the " Heavenly Ones," who came 
to their most conspicuous development in the 
Olympians of Greek fancy. The great pair, Heaven 
and Earth, were presumably at their head, and the 
other Nature powers named in the list of Herodotus 
are also unmistakably of Aryan antiquity. But I need 
not go into any detail on this subject here, for the 
most important points connected with the Indian 
devds and Avestan dacva will claim very special 
attention later on. Schrader s remark that the 
" Heavenly Ones " were less concerned with the 
guardianship of morality than the Ancestor-spirits 
to whom we return in Lecture VIII. 2 will prepare 

1 Cf. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. ii. Prof. Oldenberg would 
credit Babylon with this conception : see Religion des Veda, 195 ff., 
where he gives a full account of the Indian picture of Rta. The close 
ness of Vedic and Later Avestan is well seen in the identity (noted 
by Darmesteter) of the Vedic Khd rtasya and asahe -^a (Ys 10 4 ). 

2 For a specially important ancestor-spirit, Yama-Yima, who is 
also linked with the Heavenly Ones, see the discussion of the 
Iranian Fall-story, p. 148 f. 


us for the strange fate which they met in the Reform 
of Zarathushtra. 

We come, finally, to the climax of our problem of 
reconstruction when we ask in what period the old 
Iranian religion and the Zarathushtrian Reform met 
in the Persian world as a whole, as distinguished from 
the private belief of a king like Darius and his own 
caste of Achasmenian "Aryans." The first appearance 
of such critical names as those of Zarathushtra, the 
Amshaspands, and Ahriman will be the indications 
for which we must be looking. Their absence, as 
we have seen, need not necessarily outweigh other 
evidence when a strong case has been made. But of 
course their positive presence is decisive. 

For chronological purposes we must depend upon 
the inscriptions and the Greek writers, the date of 
the Avesta being transferred from the category of 
evidence into that of the quod erat demonstrandum. 
Herodotus, therefore, must be the starting-point of 
our inquiry. I assume for this purpose that he 
really travelled in countries where he could collect 
first-hand information about both Persians and Magi. 
This fact seems to me warranted by the accuracy 
of his information, which stands all the tests we 
are able to impose. I need not say I should not 
claim infallibility for him. Even twentieth-century 
travellers make mistakes; and Herodotus could make 
a curious blunder about the Persian language, 1 and 
by his confusion of Mithra and Anahita provide us 
with information such as other writers accuracy 
cannot always rival. But his knowledge is too 
detailed and recondite to be obtained without 

1 See the note below on Herod, i. 139, p. 398. 


observation. He must, I think, therefore have 
travelled beyond Babylon. I need not venture more 
precise definitions, but may note that the late Prof. 
Strachan 1 included Susa. The period of these travels, 
about the middle of the fifth century, falls some 
seventy years after the failure of the Magi in their 
bid for temporal power. The Magophonia* still 
kept the memory of their failure alive, but they had 
long won compensation. Herodotus found them in 
undisputed possession of the priesthood ; and we are 
free to infer that they were already at work upon 
that fusion of the three main elements in Avestan 
religion which we shall find well advanced during the 
next century. But Herodotus is perfectly aware of 
the differences between Magian and Persian. The 
priestly caste preserved their own separate identity, 
as they were bound to do if they would retain 
the reverence of their fellow- Medes. Indeed, a 
certain aloofness was effective even for the achieve 
ment of their first object, the attaining of an exclusive 
hold upon the office of zaotar or aQrcman among 
the Persians. But this is anticipating the special 
subject of Lecture VI., and we must return to our 

Herodotus is silent as to the crucial names Qpo/uLacrSw, 
Apeifjuivios, and Zwpoda-Tpw. The meaning of his silence 
I have discussed elsewhere ; but it clearly presses us 
to look carefully for the period when the silence is 
broken. The question is rather technical, and is dis 
cussed accordingly in a special note below (p. 422 f.), 
but the results may be collected here. We find that 

1 The Sixth Book of Herodotus, p. xiii. 

2 Herod, iii. 79 : see p. 186 f. 


when these names begin to appear in Greek writers, 
their form proves beyond doubt that they came from 
Old Persian, and not direct from the Gathas or the 
Later Avesta. There has therefore been adaptation, 
and it proves to be more considerable than has some 
times been assumed. When we ask for the name 
of the earliest Greek writer to report these central 
Avestan titles, we find one a whole century before 
any other, Xanthus the Lydian, a contemporary of 
Herodotus, who is credited with a mention of 
Zoroaster as having lived 6000 years before Xerxes. 1 
The fragment in which this statement is made bears 
marks of authenticity, and a Lydian had information 
near at hand in his own country. No native Greek 
mentions Zoroaster till the middle of the fourth cen 
tury. Deinon, whose son Cleitarchus accompanied 
Alexander and wrote his annals, explained " in the 
fifth book of his Histories " that Zcapoda-rptjs meant 
a<rrpo6uTt]s. 2 From about the same date comes the 
witness of the pseudo-Platonic dialogue Alkibiades 
/., where we read of " Zoroaster son of Oromasdes." 
Aristotle, in the lost work Hepl cE><Aocro</af, is said 
by Diogenes 3 to have mentioned the two Principles, 
"Zeus or Oromazdes " and " Hades or Areimanios." 
We see then that the Greeks knew of Zoroaster and 
the deity he preached at the end of the reign of 
Artaxerxes Mnemon (404-358 B.C.), and knew of 
Ahriman a little later. 

Now at this point we are reminded that the king 
just named was an innovator in religion. Berosus 

1 See the note on Diogenes Laertius, below, p. 415. 

2 Ibid. See also p. 210 f. 

3 See p. 415. 


tells us l that he set up images of Anahita ; and if 
his testimony is questioned as dating a century after 
Mnemon, there is the fact that the king s two 
inscriptions support the statement. In that from 
Susa he says, 2 " By the grace of Auramazda, Anahita, 
and Mithra I built this palace. May Auramazda, 
Anahita, and Mithra protect me ! " And in the 
British Museum inscription from Hamadan we find 
the words, " Let Auramazda, Anahita, and Mithra 
[protect] me," curiously spelt, in the Old Persian 
text. The triad never appears in the earlier 
Achsemenian Inscriptions, and it is very significant, 
as noted elsewhere (p. 239), that of the two new 
comers the goddess stands first. 

How far does this take us ? Practically, I think, 
to a conclusion that a religion much like that of the 
Yashts was established in the Persian court and 
among the people in the first half of the fourth 
century. Anahita had fairly arrived, and her images 
were familiar, before the fifth Yasht could be com 
posed. Zarathushtra s name was venerated as that 
of a divine sage supposed to have lived millennia 
before. The Magi (see p. 135 f.) had taken out of 
the Gathas his epithet for the spirit of evil ; and 
the metrical Yashts could be composed much as we 
have them, with but little that we could call really 
Zoroastrian. The religion was practically the unre- 
formed Iranian polytheism, with the Reformer s name 
retained to atone for the absence of his spirit. What 
new elements there were came not from him, but from 
Semitic sources, or through the powerful influence of 

1 Ap. Clem. Alex., Protr., v. 65. See p. 68. 

2 In the Susianian version ; the Old Persian is defective. 


the Magian priesthood, already at work. The day of 
their complete triumph was not yet. How they 
effected a further syncretism, introducing much that 
differed widely from Zarathushtra, and even from the 
Iranian religion on which he built, is another story, 
to which we must devote a separate Lecture. When 
we come to this, we shall find that, though another 
five centuries have passed, the Magian priests pre 
served the old remarkably well, and did not only 
establish the new. 



They said unto him, Who art thou ? 
He said, I am a Voice. 

Gospel of John. 

THAT Zarathushtra is a historical character, who was 
already ancient when the Greeks first heard his name, 
has been briefly stated in the preceding Lectures. 
In returning to the subject rather more fully, I 
cannot do better than quote the excellent summary 
of Prof. Geldner, which comes to us with authority 
from one of the two or three greatest living experts. 1 

The Gathas alone claim to be authentic utterances of 
Zoroaster, his actual expressions in presence of the assem 
bled congregation. They are the last genuine survivals of 
the doctrinal discourses with which as the promulgator 
of a new religion he appeared at the court of King 

The person of the Zoroaster whom we meet with in these 
hymns differs toto ccelo from the Zoroaster of the younger 
Avesta. He is the exact opposite of the miraculous , 
personage of later legend a mere man, standing always 
on the solid ground of reality, whose only arms are trust 
in his God and the protection of his powerful allies. At 
times his position is precarious enough. He whom we hear 
in the Gathas has had to face not merely all forms of out 
ward opposition and the unbelief and lukewarmness of 

1 Enc. Brit. l \ xxviii. 1040. 


adherents, but also the inward misgivings of his own heart 
as to the truth and final victory of his cause. At one time 
hope, at another despondency ; now assured confidence, now 
doubt and despair ; here a firm faith in the speedy coming 
of the Kingdom of Heaven, there the thought of taking 
refuge by flight such is the range of the emotions which 
find their immediate expression in these hymns. And the 
whole breathes such a genuine originality, all is psycho 
logically so accurate and just, the earliest beginnings of 
the new religious movement, the childhood of a new 
community of faith, are reflected so naturally in them all, 
that it is impossible for a moment to think of a later 
period of composition by a priesthood whom we know to 
have been devoid of any historical sense and incapable 
of reconstructing the spiritual conditions under which 
Zoroaster lived. 

It is needless to elaborate the estimate sketched in 
this paragraph, which must, I think, command the 
assent of all really careful and unbiassed readers of 
the Gathas. I will only fill in the outline a little in 
two parts of the picture. The proper names of the 
Gathas supply us with evidence which the mythical 
theory will find it hard to rebut. Zaratlmshtra him 
self is a problem for the mythologist to start with. 
By various manipulations the name has been tortured 
into conformity with meanings more or less appropri 
ate for legend ; l and if the motive be supplied we 
might conceive popular etymology at work in a 
dialect more or less remote from that in which the 
name originated. But apart from such and surely 
the burden of proof must rest on those who insist 
on deserting the natural for the recondite, no one 
could doubt that like his father-in-law Frasa-ustra 

1 One of the most ingenious may be seen in F. Miiller s paper, 
WZKM, \ 892, p. 264. 



the Prophet was named from u$tra, 1 the camel, just 
as his patron PiSta-aspa and his son-in-law Jama-aspa 
from aspa, the horse : compare Prexaspes (Frasdspa] 
in Herodotus. The case is strengthened by the 
similarity of the other names in the primitive circle. 
The clan name Spitama 2 is not quite clear, but it is 
most naturally derived from spita (Skt pvitra, O.E. 
hwit), " white," which does not lend itself to sugges 
tions of myth. Zarathushtra s parents, Pourushaspa 
("with grey horses") and Dughdhova ("who has milked 
cows "), are not named in the Gathas, but the Later 
A vesta did not invent these very prosaic names. 3 The 
Gathic Hvogva, the clan name of the brothers Fra- 
shaoshtra and Jamaspa, and of Zarathushtra s wife 
Hvovi, means "having fine oxen." These names all 
suggest very clearly the pastoral community in which 
they arose. The Prophet s cousin Maidydimdvha 
(" (born) at mid-month") has a name of a different 
stamp, but no less unhopeful for the theorist out 
myth-hunting. Zarathushtra s children are equally 
suggestive in a complementary way. His son Isat- 
vastra (not Gathic), " desiring pastures," represents 
one very prominent side of Zarathushtra s ideal. His 
daughter Pourucista, whose nuptial ode is Ys 53, is 

1 See AirWb, 1676, where zarant, "old " (Sktjarant, yepwv), is (I 
think rightly) taken as supplying the first part. We may imagine his 
parents commemorating in the name a camel they had ridden for 
many years. (See also Zum AirWb, 240, for the latest misdirected 
ingenuity in this field.) 

2 Cf. ^TrtTa/xas in Ctesias, STriTa/u.evTjs (an Eastern Iranian). 

3 Thomas Hyde (Historia, p. 312) equates Dughdhova with Dodo, 
and favours us with a plate whereby we may recognise the bird. 
Mythologists might make capital out of this : I cheerfully present 
them with the hint. 


named " very thoughtful " by a father who regarded 
thought as great riches, and did not grudge it to a 
daughter. The whole series evidences a very real 
and lifelike situation. I will only further repeat 
(from Bartholomae) a Gathic verse which crystallises 
particularly well " the reality of the conditions under 
which the Gathas arose " : 

The Ravi s wanton did not please Zarathushtra Spitama 
at the Winter Gate, in that he stayed him from taking 
refuge with him, and when there came to him also Zara 
thushtra 1 s two steeds shivering with cold (Ys 51 12 ). 

Zarathushtra, travelling in the bitter cold of a Persian 
winter, had been turned away from shelter by the 
servant of a Kavi, or dacvayasjia chief, whom he 
fiercely calls by an opprobrious name. This little 
picture from homely experience may be commended 
as a promising exercise to the pupils of Jensen for 
interpretation in terms of astral mythology. The 
reader who is not yet satisfied as to the hopelessness 
of the quest of legend in the Gathas may look at Ys 
29 10 , 31 15 , 44 1S , and many other stanzas in the transla 
tions of the appendix below, with the note on the 
first of them. 

The crucial question of the date of Zarathushtra 
has been discussed already in the first Lecture. The 
question of the sphere of his ministry is equally 
important and closely linked with it. I need not 
repeat here the argument of Prof. Williams Jackson, 1 
by which he seeks to prove that Zarathushtra was 
born in Adarbaijan, in Western Iran, but that there 
is at least a good case for supposing him to have 
preached in Bactria. Prof. Jackson gives impartial 

1 Zoroaster, p. 205-225. 


summaries of the argument for Media and that for 
Bactria. The former (p. 224) includes some pleas 
which disappear automatically if there is anything in 
my doctrine of the Magian stratum in the Avesta. 
Western elements will, on my reading, be introduced 
by Median Magi, who need have had nothing at all 
to do with the pure Zarathushtrian propaganda of 
generations earlier. I am not impressed with the 
oft-repeated conjecture that the Median king 
Phraortes was the first to introduce Zoroastrianism as 
the national religion of Media. That his name really 
means " confessor " is only one among several possi 
bilities ; and if it does, we must not overlook the fact 
that Herodotus, to whom we owe our knowledge of 
this king s existence, tells us that his grandfather, a 
person in private life, had the same name. 1 

I had occasion at the end of Lecture II. to sketch 
some of the considerations which weigh with me in 
my conviction that I must go forth boldly from Prof. 
Jackson s cautiously neutral position, and seek the 
first home of Parsism in Eastern Iran. Before 
developing this further, I should like to quote Prof. 
Bartholomae, with whose judgement on this impor 
tant matter I am glad to find myself in accord. He 
says (in AirWb, 1675) : 

The assertion that Zarathushtra was born in the West of 
Iran is by no means inconsistent with the fact that all de 
cisive passages of the Avesta (especially Yt 19 06 f.) point 
to the East, the neighbourhood of Lake Hamun. We can 
suppose that the Reformer left his home because he found 
no sympathy there, or was even driven to leave it. We 
may also thus interpret the strong emphasis he laid on 

1 See below, p. 269. 


agriculture. The West of Iran undoubtedly took a higher 
position in agriculture than in the East, where complete 
settlement was still far oft . Zarathushtra must accordingly 
have set himself to transplant to the scene of his active 
work the blessing of the well-ordered conditions prevailing 
in the home of his birth. It is thus quite conceivable that 
Vishtaspa as a wise ruler gave his special favour and support 
to the exiled preacher just because of these efforts of his. 

That Bactria was a perfectly possible field for 
Zarathushtra s preaching is suggested by some in 
ferences from a report we possess of a mission of 
Tchang K ien to the north of the Oxus in 128 B.C. 
The envoy found in Ta-yuan (Khorassan) and Ta-hia 
(Bactria) two classes of population, nomads and "un- 
warlike." Of the latter he says that they can make 
themselves understood from Ferghana to Parthia with 
difference of dialect. The men have deep blue eyes 
and large beards and whiskers. They are astute 
traders. In Ta-hia there is no supreme ruler, each 
city and town electing its own chief. They pay 
great deference to their women, the husbands being 
guided by them in their decisions. 1 This last point 
recalls the Germans of Tacitus, as does the description 
of their physique. Have we here the traces of the 
northern immigration ? I am very much afraid we 
cannot credit the earliest Indo-European immigrants 
into Asia with being " unwarlike," but they may have 
attained to this more civilised state after a few genera 
tions of settled life. The nomads on this view will 
be aboriginal. However this may be, the agricultural 
population, dwelling among nomads, reflects the 
features of the Gathas sufficiently well. The local 

1 I summarise from Mr W. W. Tarn s paper, " Notes on Hellenism 
in Bactria and India," Journ. of Hellenic Studies, xxii. 268-293. 


autonomy answers to the familiar Avestan institution 
of zantupaiti and vlspaiti : Vishtaspa himself need not 
have been a ruler of the Western autocratic style. 

In addition to Bartholomae s quotation, where good 
Pahlavi tradition recognises the Hamun swamp in 
Saistan, we have the fact that Airyana Vaejah is 
mentioned with X v dirizam (Chorasmia) and Suy&a 
(Sogdiana) as the last link of a chain extending from 
S.E. to N.E. 1 With the statement quoted above from 
Mr Tarn s paper, that in the second century B.C. the 
Bactrians could make themselves understood as far 
as Parthia, we may compare Strabo s remark (p. 724) 
that the name of Ariana extends as far as to include 
Bactrians and Sogdians, who are " nearly identical in 
speech " : on this see further p. 233 f. 

There are sundry arguments on points of detail 
which might be elaborated here, but I only wish to 
dwell now on some general considerations. An asser 
tion more often made than proved is that the Avesta 
owes much to Babylonian ideas. I have to confess 
that I cannot discover what these ideas may be. 2 A 
few isolated possibilities, clearly late in origin, may 
be collected ; but, speaking generally, the Avesta is 
remarkably free from influences of the kind, and when 
we go back to the Gathas there is literally nothing to 
suggest it. Now, when we remember how widespread 
the dominion of Babylon was in matters of thought, 
we can hardly doubt that only a distant and rather 
primitive country could have been free from its influ 
ence. Note, for instance, the striking absence of star- 

1 Reichelt, A vesta Reader, p. 97, citing Yt I O u , Vd\ l f., and the cunei 
form inscr. Dar. Pers. e 2 , NR a 3 (D. 5 2 , 6 3 in Bartholomae s notation). 

2 See this discussed more fully in Lecture VII. 


lore in the Gathas, and its strict limitation in the later 
Avesta. Prof. Cumont s recent American lectures 
bring out impressively how powerful was the astrology 
of Babylon. How did Parsism escape all real trace 
of its influence ? This consideration reinforces what 
I said above about the slowness with which real Zara- 
thushtrian conceptions found their way to the West. 
We shall see that the Amshaspands are the most 
distinctive feature of Zarathushtra s own thought. 
That they can hardly be traced outside the Avesta 
till the first century A.D. is an obvious fact, even 
though we can get scraps of evidence for them in 
earlier days, enough to establish a presumption that 
they were already in being. 1 But if we had nothing 
but this evidence to rely upon, it would go hard with 
us in our effort to prove the historicity of Zara 
thushtra s person and the antiquity of his Gathas. 
The real answer to the sceptic s question, " Where 
were the Amshaspands during the last five centuries 
B.C. ? " is "In Eastern Iran, outside the world we 
know." The religious abstractions of Zarathushtra 
were in any case far too difficult for the popular mind. 
They attracted thoughtful aristocrats, and chiefs who 
felt the economic advantages of the extremely sane 
and practical lore of husbandry with which they 
seemed so strangely linked. But outside the court 
we may be quite sure the Iranian people went on with 
their old nature-worship as before, even as they were 
certainly doing when the Father of History travelled 
in Aryan lands. And when at last the esoteric teach 
ing of the great prophet and thinker found its public, 
it was through the interpretation of ritualist Magi, 

1 See below, p. 104 f. 


faithful to some, but by no means all, of the doctrines 
they had brought " from far," as the Haptanghaiti 
significantly hints. 1 The Amshaspands are just the 
element most likely to fall into the background until 
the Magi had fully developed their angelology, and 
adapted the conceptions of the Prophet whom they 
claimed as one of themselves, to fit their own 
elaborated dualism. I do not think we need more 
explanation of this silence about the most conspicuous, 
but least popular, element in the theology of the 

I have discussed elsewhere (p. 39 ff.) the problem 
of the religion of the Achsemenians, and have argued 
for the conjecture that Vishtaspa the father of Darius 
was deliberately named after the king whose favour 
gave Zarathushtra his long-sought success. That 
Vishtaspa s queen Hutaosa was also commemorated 
in the Achsemenian family, in Atossa the daughter 
of Cyrus, is the only piece of evidence I know in 
support of the claim that Cyrus was in any sense a 
Zoroastrian. It seems to me that both names show 
simply the existence of a pronounced connexion with 
the ancient royal house in which Zarathushtra found 
shelter. That connexion need not in either case be 
religious. It is possible enough that Achaemenes 
(Hayamanis] was the founder of a new dynasty of 
Aryans in the very country where Vishtaspa ruled, 
and that the interval was occupied by Turanian chiefs, 

1 Ys 42 6 : aOaurunamca paiti-ajgOram yazamaide yoi yeyam diiral 
axo iito dahyunqm, " and the coming again of the priests we adore, 
who go from far to them that seek Right in the lands." The Later 
Avesta distinguishes priests on home and on foreign service : see 
Air Wb, 681, 865. 


who seized power under conditions vividly portrayed 
in the legends : we remember that Zarathushtra him 
self was slain (according to Firdausi) in the Turanian 
invasion at the storming of Balkh. 1 To other indica 
tions that Vishtaspa s country was in Eastern Iran, I 
might add the fact already noted in Lecture II. (p. 45), 
that Darius s father was in Parthia when a rebellion 
broke out. I have conjectured that he was " King," 
like Cyrus at Murghab, but not " King of kings," 
succeeding to a satrapy carved out of a petty monarchy 
which had perhaps been established in Parthia since 
the Achsemenian dynasty arose. The other branch of 
the family, from which Cyrus sprang, may have estab 
lished themselves in a different part of Eastern Iran. 
When they extended their power westward, or actually 
migrated to Ansan, driven out possibly by the same 
forces which we have postulated for the fall of the old 
Kayanian dynasty, we naturally cannot tell. I do 
not, of course, claim this reconstruction as anything 
more than conjectural, but I think it meets the facts. 
It suits, moreover, the linguistic phenomena. In dia 
lect and in thought, taken together, the Gatha Hap- 
tanghaiti stands nearest of Iranian documents to 
the Veda. Gathic was on my view the language of 
a district lying half way between Parthia and the 
Indus, now Saistan. Sa istan is described as a country 
of fertile soil, well fitted therefore for either tilling or 
grazing, and suited to the pursuits which are preached 
so earnestly in the Gathas. Here the Bundahish finds 
Lake Kasaoya, in which the seed of Zarathushtra was 
preserved under the guardianship of myriads of 
Fravashis till the time of Saoshyant s conception. 

1 See Jackson, Zoroaster, 130. 


Somewhere in this triangular district, with Parthia, 
Bactria, and Drangiana as its apices, we may suppose 
that Vishtaspa reigned and Zarathushtra won his 
converts. The latitude 30 N. has already been noted 
as suiting some astronomical conditions (p. 24) : it 
is about the most northerly at which the four Regent 
stars could all be observed ruling four quarters of 
the sky when their leader, Sirius, rose. This would 
probably mean that we should find two districts, 
fairly separated from one another, but both near the 
same parallel, to account for the difference between 
Gathic and Later Avestan dialect. The latter would 
presumably be located on the western side of our 
suggested area, so as to be a step towards the occupa 
tion of Media which comes before us in historic times. 
The totally unknown names which fill the roll of de 
parted saints in Yt 13, and the absence of historical 
monarchs in the royal records of Yt 19, help us to 
realise that it was not in the Avestan period that the 
Religion fairly occupied the lands we know from 
history. I have tried to prove elsewhere (p. 77) 
that the first half of the fourth century marks the 
most distinctive epoch in the westward spread of the 
syncretic religion which absorbed the teaching of 

Since I make no pretence to completeness, and aim 
only at examining a series of important problems 
which are vital to a real understanding of the religion, 
I need not apologise for spending more space on the 
question of the birthplace of the faith than upon the 
personal history of the Reformer. It is little enough 
that we can gather from the Gathas as to Zara- 
thushtra s life and work, and the later legends are 


mostly negligible, 1 except in so far as their absurdity 
throws up in relief the entire credibility of the story 
which underlies the Gathas. One of these legends I 
will just mention because of its literary association. 
In my Early Religious Poetry of Persia (p. 51-54) 
I sketched the possibility that in the most famous 
of his shorter poems Virgil used the story that Zoro 
aster laughed when he was born. When, then, Virgil 
calls on his wondrous child, 

Incipe, parue puer, risu cognoscere matrem, 

he means " rival the storied Sage of the East." I may 
repeat part of my argument in support of this thesis : 

Assuming that this means " to greet thy mother with a 
smile"" and the alternative "by her smile" forces the 
Latin intolerably we have at once a difficulty which 
seems to have escaped the commentators. The whole 
point of the passage is that the child is new-born indeed, 
if Prof. Conway is right, 2 not even that. And when did 
a new-born child laugh or even smile at anybody ? Is not 
the poet here, as in so much of this mysterious poem, using 
Eastern imagery ? " Risisse eodem die quo genitus esset 
unum hominem accepimus Zoroastrem," says Pliny (HN, 
vii. 15), a century after the Eclogue was written. Virgil s 
Child should share that unique distinction. Indeed, the 
remaining lines of the poem will gain point if we assume 
that Virgil, so diligent a reader of Greek literature, knew 
what Greek writers had told of Zoroaster generations 
before, his receiving laws in direct converse with the Deity. 
Virgil s conclusion, 

Incipe, parue puer : qui non risere parent! [or parentis], 
nee deus hunc mensa, dea nee dignata cubili est, 

1 These are of course accessible in Jackson s Zoroaster. 

2 Vergil s Messianic Eclogue (London, 1907), p. 13 ff. Note 
Mr Warde Fowler s interesting citation from Suetonius in the same 
book (p. 71), showing that Virgil himself was believed at birth to 
have abstained from crying. 


is in its first element well satisfied by this allusion, assum 
ing the classical embellishment that the divinity not only 
instructed but feasted the sage. To bring in the second 
point involves the assumption that the West had received 
another very prominent element in the Zoroaster-legend : 
that we have no evidence of this may be frankly confessed, 
but its absence is entirely natural. In the Yashts we read of 
Zarathushtra s wife Hvovi, a member of a noble family at 
Vishtaspa s court. Two brothers of this family are named 
with their patronymic in the Gathas as conspicuous among 
Zarathushtra s disciples and helpers. . . . On this wholly 
natural basis later legend built a marvellous superstructure. 
Unfortunately we cannot fix the period, or tell whether 
there was authority for it in ancient Avestan texts. Ac 
cording to this story, Zarathushtra has no children by 
Hvovi in the natural order, but they are to become the 
parents of three sons who shall be born as the Regeneration 
draws near ; the last of them [being] Saoshyant. ... It is 
obvious that Hvovi might just as well be a goddess bride 
outright, and Virgil may very easily have heard the story 
in this form, which assimilates it to myths of Greece long 
familiar to him. 

I need add nothing to my exposition, except my 
gratification that I have convinced my colleague Prof. 
Conway, who has peculiar claims on our attention 
in questions affecting Virgil s " Messianic Eclogue." 
Another legend, that Zoroaster met his " double " or 
Fravashi walking in a garden, 1 is interesting because 
of Shelley s use of it : see p. 254. But as we should 
never think of accepting more than a very small 
percentage of the legends as worthy of serious in 
vestigation, we may pass on. It will be more profit- 

1 My colleague Prof. Herford tells me that Shelley was well 
read in the history of non-Christian religions, which had been made 
easily accessible by the French encyclopaedists. Apart from this 
hint I have no information for identifying Shelley s source. 


able to study the self-portraiture in the Gathas, dim 
and scanty though it is, as presented in the translation 
below. No reader even of these crabbed and obscure 
texts can fail to realise the sacred ambition of their 
author, his determined fight against tremendous 
difficulties, and his unquenchable hope of ultimate 
triumph, in a world to come if not here below. 

We turn to the characterising of Zarathushtra s 
theology, apart from the two special sides of it which 
are to occupy us in Lectures IV. and V. I begin 
with his conception of God. It was shown in 
Lecture I. that the special cultus of the " Wise " 
A sura must have been in existence ages before the 
traditional date of Zarathushtra, and long before any 
date that we can with probability assign him. 1 The 
" Wise Lord " was the special deity of the " Aryans," 
by whom we must in the Susianian version of the 
Behistan Inscription, which records the fact, under 
stand the highest social caste, including perhaps all 
who were really descended from the immigrants from 
Europe, as distinguished from aboriginal populations 
that spoke Aryan language. The Api^avroi of 
Herodotus will represent the same caste. Now, 
Zarathushtra could not belong to two of the six 
Median tribes, and the explicit evidence that Ahura 
Mazdah was " god of the Aryans " is reason enough 
for believing that he was himself an ariyazantu, and 
not the Magus that much later ages assumed him to 
be. For those, therefore, among whom Zarathushtra 
grew up, Ahura Mazdah was the "clan god" (p. 51) 
of their caste, as superior to the gods of other castes 
as the Aryan was to the Magus or the Budian, but 

1 See above, p. 31 f., and the more technical discussion, p. 422 f. 


only " greatest of gods " 1 after all. It would seem 
that Zarathushtra s first step was to rise from this 
higher polytheism to monotheism, from a god who 
was greatest of gods to a god who stood alone. 

I am assuming for the present that Zarathushtra s 
religion really was monotheistic, postponing the clear 
ing up of some indications which appear to deny this. 
It is natural to ask whether we can guess any of the 
forces that worked towards monotheism in Zara 
thushtra s mind. Judging that mind solely from the 
Gathas, we find its distinguishing note to be the 
remarkable combination of abstractness and practical 
sense. In the world of thought Zarathushtra lives 
among qualities and attributes and principles which 
are as real to him as anything he can see, but never 
seem to need personification. But the ideal never 
obscures the real for him, and his communion with 
shadowy spiritual essences leaves him free to come 
down to cows and pastures without any sense of in 
congruity. Taking this as a clue, we see at once how 
the elevation of the god of his caste would effect itself 
in his mind. His own caste was agricultural, and there 
were nomad castes from which they were receiving per 
petual injury. The fact would stimulate a lively hatred 
towards the gods of their oppressors. And the national 
emphasis on Truth would produce in such a mind the 
speculative inference that Truth must be One, the 
two qualities of the Prophet s thought converging 
thus on one great inference to which he was almost 
the earliest of mankind to leap. 

The God who takes his place thus at the centre of 
the Reformer s religion had lost, if he ever possessed, 

1 So maQista baganam on the Inscriptions. 


all real traits of an elemental deity. On this I need 
not repeat what I said in Lecture II. That Mazdah s 
connexion with Varuna is but slight, as Prof. Jackson 
declares, 1 may be set beside the doubt whether Varuna 
himself was originally elemental. When Darius in 
his great credal formula glorifies Mazdah as creator 
of heaven and earth, 2 any primitive identification with 
the bright or dark sky must clearly have been long 
forgotten. And if there are traces in the Avesta of 
physical attributes which need explaining as survivals, 
we have only to remember that the daevayasna 
avowedly set the Sky-god in the centre, and that 
plentiful elements from that cultus remained in the 
thought even of strict Zoroastrians in the period when 
syncretism was advanced or complete. When Angra 
Mainyu was thought of as VTTO yfjv* Ahura Mazdah 
was naturally established in the sky without any 
recollection of a primitive connexion. Whether 
these survivals, then, are real or accidental, matters 
very little : it is more important to gather up the 
moral and spiritual characteristics of the God so 
pictured. He is Creator of all things, as Ys 44 brings 
out in great fullness, and Darius s creed in brief. 
Darkness as well as light is his work (Ys 44 5 ), and 
upon him the whole course of things depends. He 
knows all things men s secret sins (Ys 31 13 ), and 
events of the distant future (Ys 33 13 ). He has 
"absolute sovranty" (Ys 31 21 ), though, as we shall 

1 Grundriss, ii. p. 633. 

2 With which we may compare the cult-title DaOus, "Creator," 
which gave a name to the tenth month in the calendar, early 
adopted in Cappadocia : see p. 434. It is a regular title of Mazdah 
in the Later Avesta. 

3 See below, p. 128 f. 


see later, the presence of the evil power limits that 
sovranty during a fixed period of time. And with 
absolute power and boundless wisdom he has com 
plete freedom from any stain of unworthiness or evil, 
This is quite consistent with the use of not a little 
anthropomorphic phraseology, which is never allowed 
to include what would in any sense mar the dignity 
of the conception of God or associate grotesque in 
congruities with the reverence due to him. There 
is, I think, no anthropomorphism in the Gathas to 
which we could not find an adequate parallel in the 
Old Testament. 

To understand Zarathushtra s doctrine of God we 
must carefully study the Amshaspands, 1 to give them 
the Pahlavi title as most convenient. It is very 
important to notice that the title, though old as the 
Gatha Haptanghaiti, is not found in the Gathas 
proper at all. Bartholomae is right in urging that 
the collection of them into one body is " not Gathic," 
and results in the " obliteration of the special char 
acter " of the six divinities included. The segregation 
of the Six under a collective name is a work of later 
theology. It is true that there are many verses in 
the Gathas where most of them are named, and one 
or two where they all six appear, and in the usual 
order, in a verse that looks very much like a catechism 
answer. 2 But there is a very marked difference in 

1 In its oldest form (Gathic dialect) spanta amdsa or in reverse 
order, each occurring once in Gatha Haptanghaiti. On the meaning 
of spdnta, see below, p. 1 44 f. 

2 F* 47 1 : see ERPP, 108 f. I ought to reserve the point of order 
as far as the first two are concerned. In the Gathas, though not in 
the Later Avesta, Asha seems to lead. All the Six appear also in 
Ys 45 10 , in marked dependence on Ahura. See the note there. 


the prominence of the members of the hexad. A 
rough enumeration of the occurrences of the words 
in the Gathas discounted by the difficulty of allow 
ing for places where the names may have no reference 
to the Amshaspands shows that Am appears ten 
to fifteen times as often as Haurvatat and Amdr9tdt, 
fully three times as often as XsaBra, and four times 
as often as Aramaiti. Asha and Vohu Manah are 
obviously far more important than the others. And 
it is not easy to draw a sharp line between the least 
conspicuous Amshaspands and other spirits of the 
same general class. Sraosa, " obedience," is named 
almost as often as Haurvatat in the Gathas ; and 
Gdus urvan, "Ox-Soul," G-dus tasan, "Ox-Creator," 


and A tar, " Fire," have a conspicuous place. Barthol- 
omae calls them all Ahuras, and they seem to be 
alike marked with the distinctive feature of Zara- 
thushtra s spirit-world. That is, as I take it, the 
Ahuras are not really separate from Mazdah or sub 
ordinate to him : they seem to be essentially part of 
his own being, attributes of the Divine endowed with 
a vague measure of separate existence for the purpose 
of bringing out the truth for which they severally 
stand. When the very name of Good Thought can 
be replaced by " Thy Thought " in addressing Mazdah, 
it is clear that Vohu Manah cannot be detached from 
Mazdah except as far as Spenta Mainyu, his " Holy 
Spirit," may be ; and if this is true of one of the two 
greatest Amshaspands, it may fairly be presumed of 
the rest. When in later times Aramaiti was called 
Mazdah s daughter, and Atar his son, it was really 
:he materialised expression of the same fact. 

What I have said carries with it, if true, the sacri- 



fice of any close connexion between the Amshaspands 
and similar figures of Vedic or of Babylonian myth 
ology. In an early work, Ormazd et Ahriman (1877), 
Darmesteter tried to demonstrate the existence of a 
link between the Amshaspands and the Adityah of 
India, whose name " infinite ones " resembled the 
" immortals " of the Avesta. I can see no objection 
in principle to our allowing the Adityas influence 
upon the process of collecting the Hexad into a 
special class : nor should I protest with any energy 
if an Aryan title were held to lie behind the name by 
which in the Haptanghaiti the heavenly collegium 
was distinguished. Indeed, I think it likely that 
Zarathushtra intentionally took up Aryan my thus 
where it compromised no principle. 1 That Aramaiti 
is clearly the genius of the Earth in the Gathas is 
noted elsewhere, and that the connexion between 
XsaOra and Metals forms the basis of the eschatological 
idea of the ayah \susta (p. 157 f.): that Haurvatat 
and Am9r9tat are Water and Plants is still more 
patent. One might almost suggest that Zarathushtra 
took out of the popular religion the animistic idea of 
tiiefravaSi possessed by every creation of Ahura, and 
drew from it what suited him. 

More seductive is the suggestion that the Amsha 
spands are connected with the Baby Ionian planet world. 
There is the fact that Assara Mazas in the Assyrian 
inscription already referred to is associated with the 
"seven Igigi." Now we have undeniably seven 
Amshaspands in later stages of Parsism. In Yt 
13 82 f. we have their sevenfold unity insisted on with 

1 Some good points in this direction are made by Pi of. Carnoy 
in his article on Aramaiti in Le Museon, n.s., xiii. 127 ff. 


emphasis, and their common relation to one Father, 
the Creator Ahura Mazdah. We must suppose 
Sraosha to be the seventh. 1 Sometimes when the 
seven are named, Ahura himself is included. It is 
noteworthy that in Tobit the " seven spirits " are 
expressly dissociated from God as subordinate. The 
trait may go back to the Magian original and answer 
to Assara Mazas and the seven Igigi. This fixing of 
the Amshaspands as seven has parallels in the history 
of the Adityas, as Darmesteter showed. Whether it 
came into Parsism by way of Babylonian astrolatry, 
or represents the survival of an Aryan cultus to which 
Zarathushtra s system has been accommodated by 
the methods of Procrustes, we need not stay to 
inquire, for we are concerned with Zarathushtra s 
own concepts alone. And here we must resolutely 
put aside presuppositions drawn from later Parsism, 
and realise that Zarathushtra cannot be proved 
by any valid evidence to have created a Hexad, 
far less a Heptad, to have given them a collective 
name, or to have depended on either Aryan or 
Babylonian hints for the invention of abstract ideas 
strikingly in keeping with his own characteristic 

We may notice further, in studying the Amsha 
spands in the Gathas, that there is the same absence 
of stereotyped forms which we shall observe later in 
the crucial case of the evil spirit s name. In the Later 
Avesta " Right " is regularly VahiUa ; " Dominion " is 
Vairya, "desirable "; 2 "Piety" is Spjnta ; and " Good 

1 So Ys 57 12 : Sraosha " returns to the assembly of the Am. Sp." 

2 " Who ought to be chosen,, i.e. by free will of man " (Casartelli). 
It is not Gathic, but Ys 43 13 , 5 1 1 show it in the context 


Thought " is a fixed combination. But in the Gathas 
vohu ("good") goes with -^saBra (Ys 31 22 ) as well as 
manah, and "Good Thought " may take the superlative 
vahista or the possessive " Thy," while Aramaiti 
usually does without an epithet, or has " good " like 
her comrades, only five times claiming the "holy" 
that later became a fixed part of her name. This 
goes with the obvious fact that the words asa, manah, 
and -^saQra, and even amaratat, can be used without 
reference to the technical meaning, while often we 
are left with no decisive criterion by which to decide 
between the small initial and the capital in our 
translation. It is all characteristic of the early stage 
of development in which we find these floating 
abstractions, still perfectly fresh and free. We must 
clearly leave plenty of time for the appellations to 
become stereotyped. Those who believe that the 
Indo-Scythian coin-legend Shahrevar in the first 
century A.D. had been developed out of \saOra vairya 
in a generation or two are pressing probabilities very 
far indeed ! 

Strabo has in a well-known passage described the 
cult of Omanus (or Omanes) in Cappadocia. The 
description is cited in full below (p. 409). Omanus is 
associated with Ana itis, 1 and we are told that an 
image of him is taken in procession. Strabo had seen 
this cult himself. In another passage (p. 512) he 
says that Persian generals built a large barrow in 
commemoration of a great slaughter of Sacas, " and 
set up the shrine of Ana itis and the gods who share 

1 Tavro. 8 ev T<HS Trj<s AvatrtSos KOL TOV O/zavov vevo/xtcrrai TOVTU>V ot 
Kal <rr)Koi el(TLV, Kal 6avov TOV Oyaavou Tro/jnrfVfi. ravra yu.ev ovv 
, tKetva 8 tv rats tcrropc ats Xeycrat Kal TO. </>^s- 


altars with her, Omanus and Anadatus, Persian 
divinities." 1 He connects this with the Sacasa, which 
was still observed at Zela (in Pontus). I have quoted 
the passages to show how far we may regard them as 
relevant for our present subject. It is generally 
assumed that Omanus is Vohumanah, while AvaSdrov 
is supposed to be a false reading for A/uapSdrov, and so 
to represent A mdrdtdt. There are too many assump 
tions here to make me feel at all easy. Good Thought 
and Immortality might be selected as the first and 
the last of the Amshaspands, according to the usual 
later order. But there is nothing beyond the name 
Omanus to suggest Amshaspands at all. They have 
no special link with Anahita, who was, as we see 
elsewhere, a deity quite foreign to primitive Zoro- 
astrianism. That need mean little, for clearly the cult 
here described has suffered severely from syncretism. 
But the l~6avov of Vohumanah has naturally raised 
much difficulty. We are assuredly in a very un 
familiar atmosphere when such a divinity has ceased 
to be aniconic ! Geldner, however, has supplied a 
parallel from the Avesta which is convincing enough. 2 
[n Vd 19 20 " 25 rules are given for the "cleansing" of 
Vohumanah, who is to be taken up by the worshipper 
and laid down under the light of heaven, and then 
perfumed with incense. The Pahlavi explains it 
here as meaning the man s clothes, since the Amsha- 
spand presided over cattle and therefore presumably 
over hides used for raiment. It will be admitted 
that Geldner s suggestion is more probable. The 

Kttt TO Trj<i Ava lTlSo? KO.I TOJV <TVfJift<i)fJ.<j)V @WV LpOV ISpVCTaVTO 

O/xavov /cat AvaSarov IlepcriKuiv Sai/xova>V 
2 Grundriss, ii. 39. 


Vendidad is not likely to contain ritual matter that 
is older than Strabo ; and under the guidance of 
Magian ideas a worship very different from the old 
Aryan imageless cult, and still more different from 
the spiritual religion of Zarathushtra, would easily 
develop with the name as the only link. We are 
familiar enough with this kind of process in the 
history of religion. Those who question the identity 
of Omanus and Vohumanah should at any rate be 
ready with an alternative explanation, when Strabo 
definitely says he and " Anadatus " were Persian 
Sai/uove?. 1 The recognition of Ameretat in the corrupt 
name that follows must of course be left open. I am 
not disposed to make use of Strabo s evidence as 
proof that the Amshaspands were popular divinities 
in Cappadocia in the first century. A scholar whose 
scepticism is robust enough to make him postulate 
Gathas composed in a dead language under the in 
spiration of Philo will not be troubled greatly with 
an argument drawn from the identification of Omanus, 
nor will he recognise the necessity of providing an 
alternative. I only point out here that Strabo s 
witness is perfectly congruous on the orthodox 
theory, and actually gains in reasonableness when we 
put Zarathushtra s date further back still. It is, more 
over, supported by the nearly contemporary witness of 
the coins of Kanishka and Huvishka. There we have 
Khshathra and perhaps Asha, with the form stereo 
typed and developed into Middle Persian dialect; 
while the presence of the disguised form of the name 
of Vishtaspa s father Aurvat-aspa testifies to the 
permanence of the Zarathushtrian tradition, and the 
1 See note l on p. 101. 


names of old Aryan gods Verethraghna, Tishtrya 
(or perhaps Tira see p. 435 f. ), Mithra, etc. attest the 
syncretism of the Avesta as already complete. 

But here comes in Prof. Cumont s argument from 
the Cappadocian Calendar. In a short note appended 
to a quotation from Moses of Chorene ( Teactes, ii. 6) 
he calls attention to the fact that the Cappadocian 
months bore Avestan names " scarcely altered," as 
may be seen undeniably from the names as restored 
from a medley of late Greek MSS. in Cumont s first 
volume (Textes, i. 132). The discovery is indeed an 
old one, going back to Henri Estienne s Thesaurus ; 
and the great names of Benfey and Lagarde are 
connected with the working out of the Persian 
equivalents. In Cumont s note (ii. 6) we read that 
" certain indications appear to show that the adoption 
of the Persian Calendar in Cappadocia took place about 
400 B.C." during the Achasmenian period, anyhow, 
though it is " very difficult to determine more pre 
cisely the date at which they began to use in Asia 
Minor these foreign names of the months." In a 
separate note at the end of this book I attempt some 
discussion of the case which Prof. Cumont thus 
accepts as proved for the argument is only presented 
by references to other literature, and here I will 
assume its truth. It will be noticed at once that all 
six Amshaspands are in the list, which is sufficient 
proof that if the great Belgian savant is quoted in 
support of Darmesteter s paradoxical dating of the 
Gathas, it can only be for an attenuated fragment of 
the same. For of course Darmesteter s case rests on 
the assertion that the Amshaspands are ultimately 
due to Philo ; and here is Cumont declaring that they 


not only existed but had been exported to Cappadocia 
nearly four centuries before Philo was born ! 

To enlarge further on Darmesteter s unlucky 
theory is, however, not my purpose here. How 
does Cumont s date for the adoption of the Persian 
Calendar in Cappadocia square with the evidence we 
have traced, showing that the Amshaspands were 
almost unknown in Western Iran until a period 
generations later than this ? The first observation 
we make is that the date (which would bear bringing 
down towards the middle of the fourth century if we 
see other reasons) is in the reign of Artaxerxes 
Mnemon. Now, as we see elsewhere (p. 77 f.), this 
king was the promoter of a new religious syncretism. 
If Darius I. attaches himself to Zarathushtra, and 
Xerxes represents mostly a relapse into Aryan nature- 
worship, Artaxerxes II. is emphatically the patron of 
the Magian movement. He is the first Achsemenian 
of whom we can say that the Later Avesta fairly 
represents his religion. Now the mere repetition of 
the deities of the Persian-Cappadocian Calendar is 
enough to show what has happened to the Amsha 
spands meanwhile. They are, in order of their months, 
the Fravashis, Asha Vahishta, Haurvatat, Tishtrya(?), 1 
Ameretat, Khshathra Vairya, Mithra, Apam Napat, 
Atar, Dathush (the Creator), Vohu Manah, Spenta 
Armaiti. The names are in their later form with 
epithets fixed and an integral part of the title. They 
are altogether out of order : note that the inseparable 
pair, Haurvatat and Ameretat, is divided, and the cult 
epithet of Mazdah occurs in the name of the tenth 
month. Then we find the six Zoroastrian angels 

1 Tir : see below, p. 435 f. 


accompanied by two others (Fire and the Creator) 
who would suit the Zoroastrian and the pre-reforma- 
tion creed equally, and four who belong distinctly to 
the older Aryan faith. But the alien Anahita is 
absent, replaced seemingly by Apam Napat, who 
stands next to Mithra : the Anahita Yasht is called 
Abdn, by a survival of this name. Since after West s 
investigation we have reason to believe that Darius 
reformed the Calendar in a Zoroastrian direction, we 
might recognise that great king s acuteness in thus 
scattering the new names among the old. But we 
may be sure they never became popular with the 
meaning which Zarathushtra attached to them. It is 
safe to believe that " Desirable Dominion " meant for 
Persian nobles very much what " Empire " means 
to-day for the Jingo, and " Best Right " something 
not far away from " Might." Nor must we forget 
that the old Sondergotter of whom Zarathushtra 
availed himself, using very new and recondite inter 
pretations of their significance, were ready to come 
out into the light. Aramaiti was still the Earth and 
Vohu Manah cattle. It is quite possible that the 
" images of Omanus " seen by Strabo in Cappadocia 
were very much like the Golden Calves. To this 
extent the names of the Amshaspands may well have 
been preserved in Magian syncretism, and propagated 
by the Persian grandees who set up their luxurious 
state in south-eastern Asia Minor and in Armenia. 
New names of months might be adopted by the 
common people, but they did not necessarily under 
stand them any better than a modern cockney 
understands that July and August commemorate 
famous Romans of the past. And even so the 


Amshaspands won very narrow recognition. It is not 
far from Cappadocia to Commagene. How much of 
their lore, or their very names, did Persian propa 
gandists take to that country ? 

For this we of course interrogate a royal witness, 
in the well-known inscription of Antiochus I., of 
whom we hear first in 69 B.C. Dittenberger s descrip 
tion of the monument 1 tells us of lions and eagles 
sculptured on the smoothed eastern and western sides, 
with five human figures seated on thrones Zeus 
Oromasdes in the middle, Mithra and Artagnes 
(F^araOrayna) on the right, Commagene and King 
Antiochus [their Fravashis ?] on the left. There are 
other figures, much damaged ; and we are told that 
Antiochus portrayed his ancestors, claiming descent 
on the father s side from the great Darius, and on the 
mother s from Alexander (!). This is an appropriate 
symbol of the syncretism he shows in his profession 
of faith, for such the inscription is mainly intended to 
be. He begins with the declaration that religion is 
the most abiding of all good things and the greatest 
joy, and he traces to it all his fortune and success. 
The phrase he uses here supplies a reason for referring 
to his witness at this point. "All through my life," 
he says, " I showed to all men that I regarded 
Holiness (T^V oa-ior^ra) as a most trusted warden of my 
kingdom and an incomparable delight (rep^iv afjil^rov)" 
Later on he says, " All that is holy is a light burden 
(KOV^OV fpyov], but heavy are the woes that follow 
impiety (ur/8eta). M Can we say that he means Asha? 
We cannot pronounce dogmatically on the question : 
the mention would be appropriate enough, but no 

1 Orientis Grceci Inscriptiones Selectee, i. 591 f. 


Greek scholar, ignorant of Asha s existence, would 
suspect any foreign allusion in the words. And the 
Persian elements in the King s creed are clear enough. 
He says that he has set up his monument " as near 
as might be to the heavenly thrones (ovpavlw a^ia-ra 
dpdixav)," " for that the body of my outward form 
(fjiopffis), having lived in happiness unto old age, 
having sent my God-loved soul to the heavenly 
thrones of Zeus Oromasdes, shall sleep unto endless 
time." This last phrase has the suggestion of Zervan 
Akarana ; but there is a closer equivalent later on 
(v. 112 f.), where he speaks of " men whom endless time 
(xpovos aireipos in the former passage aiwv) shall set in 
the (royal) succession of this land in their own lot of 
life." There is a quasi-personal tone about the title 
which would suit the identification very well. A few 
lines later Antiochus points to the images : " Where 
fore, as thou seest, I have set up these god-befitting 
images of Zeus Oromasdes and Apollo Mithras (who 
is) the Sun (and) Hermes, 1 and Artagnes 2 (who is) 
Herakles (and) Ares, and of my all-nurturing country 
Commagene." He then turns to remark that he had 
set up his own image in their company and in the 
same stone, "preserving a just counterfeit 

1 An identification which is suggestive for the view taken of 
Mithra in that age and place. Dittenberger quotes Cumont, and 
remarks that Mithra and Hermes were alike ^^OTTO/WTOI , and that 
the planet which the Persians assigned to Mithra the Greeks gave 
partly to Apollo and partly to Hermes. How far this suits the 
solar character of Mithra, by this time pretty generally established, 
I need not stay to ask. There is obviously not a little confusion 
here between Greek and Persian ideas. 

2 Dittenberger observes that the Greeks gave the planet Mars 
(in Persian Verethraghna) to Herakles or Ares. 


of the immortal thought ((ppovrls) which 
ofttimes stood visibly by me as a kindly helper in 
my kingly endeavours." 1 These remarkable words 
point distinctly to the Fravashi, and to the belief that 
it sometimes became visible as a man s "double." 2 
The Fravashis, then, Mithra, Verethraghna, probably 
Zervan Akarana, and the "heroes" (who for Antiochus 
would be the " gods of the royal house " recognised 
in Achsemenian religion 3 ), together of course with 
Ahura Mazdah, are the divinities to whom Antiochus 
offers such whole-hearted allegiance. There is no 
real Zoroastrianism here, but a religion not far from 
Mithraism as we know it a little later, with the 
unreformed Iranian nature- worship still only slightly 
contaminated with elements drawn from Semitic or 
other alien sources : it is significant that there is no 
mention of Anahita. In such a pantheon there was 
no room for Asha, and the tentative question with 
which this paragraph opened receives a negative 
answer. Antiochus owes much more to Hellas 
than to Zarathushtra, whose teaching had not yet 
established itself so far west. 

The negative results which meet us when we try 
to trace the Amshaspands in the West, except in the 
Cappadocian Calendar and in rather doubtful forms 
like Strabo s Omanus and Anadatus, must not sur 
prise us too much. These conceptions belong to the 
most esoteric side of Zarathushtra s lore, and there is 

1 rj TToXXctKts 1/J.oi TrapcurraTis eTri^avr)? cts /3orj6eiav aywvwj/ 

2 See Lecture VIII. 

3 See p. 274. Probably the same are meant when he distinguishes 
deoi and 


really nothing strange in their absence even where 
a true Zarathushtrian doctrine has been absorbed. 
It is most probable that until the Magi popularised 
them in their own way, after an adaptation which 
preserved little beyond the name and the traditional 
association with departments fire, cattle, metals, 
earth, water, and plants they were never heard of 
except in cultured circles. We may perhaps trace 
them in the nomenclature of Persian royal and 
aristocratic families. Thus Artaxerxes answering 
to an Avestan *A^a-^aOra, " one whose kingdom is 
according to Right" combines twoof the Amshaspand 
names, and the first of them has its meaning very 
much on the lines of Gathic thought : the frequency 
of Persian names in Arta is very suggestive. In the 
inscription on the grave of Darius, Weissbach restores 
the word [V^aumanisa, and suggests connexion with 
the words which in the Avestan appear as vohu 
manah. 1 Unfortunately the inscription is too frag 
mentary for us to get any connected sense. We 
cannot therefore be positive that we have a proper 
name derived from "Good Thought," or even a case of 
the name Good Thought itself. If we may trust the 
conjecture, we cannot miss the significance of the 
fact that the two words of the Gathas are fused into 
one, here and in Strabo s Cappadocian cult and (in 
the analogous case of the third Amshaspand) on the 
Indo-Scythian coins. This is, of course, obvious 

1 Die Keilinschriften am Grabe Darius Hystaspis, p. 40. The 
Aryan noun manas had in Old Persian (cf. Ha^amani,^ passed into 
the -is declension. Weissbach notes the parallel in Sanskrit (iwsu 
and manas), and makes it a derivative from a word for " wisdom ": 
he ignores the Amshaspand. 


with the name Auramazda, and when Greek evidence 
is taken, with Apetpavios, AovWcuo?, and other names. 1 
Soderblom has tried to discount this evidence by 
urging that the Gathas separate existing unities in 
the manner of learned poetry. But his parallel lovem 
patrem from Plautus does not impress me Plautus 
is not a hopeful source for learned archaism ! And 
surely it is far more probable that free and non 
technical designations, not yet crystallised into proper 
names, were in after generations compressed into 
set terms. Insistence on the Eastern origin of 
Zarathushtra s Reform, the esoteric character of the 
Amshaspands in their earliest conception, and the 
length of time (as evidenced by development of 
language) during which a drastic adaptation has been 
working, will remove all the difficulty which has 
been felt as to the absence of these spirits from 
extra- Avestan sources until a late period. 

On the Amshaspands in detail I have had something 
to say already, and shall have to add more. 2 The 
primacy among them belongs to Asa, even as late as 
the Haptanghaiti. Plutarch accurately translates 
AX^Oem, for the fact that Druj, the Lie, is the 
antithesis of Asha from the first makes this the most 
outstanding feature. I have used " Right " as the 
word that covers best the very varying use of the 
name, which from Aryan times 3 denotes the right 
order of the world, things as the Creator meant them 
to be. If Philo really was thinking of the Amsha- 

1 See on this subject the Excursus, p. 422 f. 

2 See p. 293-300. 

3 Skt rta does not quite answer, for its Avestan equivalent is 

but there are parallels for this difference in Abstufung. 


spands in his curious allegorising of the Cities of 
Refuge, and if Darmesteter rightly attaches A6yo? 
9eios to Vohumanah whether as origin, or (as we 
should emphatically assert) as derivative or parallel, 
we can only say that the comparison is not very 
happy, and that the Greek Logos comes quite as 
near to Asha as to Vohumanah in the Gathic system. 
Indeed, Darmesteter s identification would be a 
positive hindrance for his own theory, since the chief 
of his Awa/xef? is distinctly second in the Gathas and 
only attains primacy in the Later A vesta. But the 
Powers of Philo have so little in common with the 
Amshaspands, after the Logos has been taken out, 
that we need only make a general reference. The 
priority of Asha over Vohumanah in the Gathas is 
not at all explicit. It may perhaps rest on the idea 
that Asha is more inclusive, representing Mazdah s 
action, creation, and law, and not only the " Thought " 
that inspires it. But Vohumanah evvoia in Plutarch- 
is comprehensive enough. He is the Thought of 
God, and of every good man, and we shall see later 
(p. 171) that he is the very paradise that awaits all 
who conform to the will of God. He comes very 
near Mazdah s " Spirit," for once ( Ys 33 6 ) we actu 
ally find " Good Spirit " replacing " Good Thought." 
Xsadra (ewo/zm) represents Dominion as an essential 
attribute of God. At the end of Ys 33 we find 
Zarathushtra bringing Obedience and Dominion to 
Mazdah. The Prophet who teaches men to obey, and 
the " man of Asha " who spends his life in accumu 
lating good words, thoughts, and deeds, are alike 
engaged in " bringing Mazdah the Dominion " ; for 
the ultimate triumph of Mazdah over the Lie will be 


achieved by the preponderance of good works over 
evil at the great Reckoning. Khshathra represents 
accordingly the " far-off divine Event," but also its 
anticipations in time. He does not attain to the 
great Triad, Ahura Mazdah, Asha, Vohu Manah, 
which outshines all other conceptions in the Gathas ; l 
but he stands out well above the other Ahuras. 


Armaiti so the name is spelt in our MSS., but the 
scansion shows that it was tetrasyllable, like its 
Sanskrit equivalent aramati retains her Aryan 
connexion with the sacred earth. 2 I have ventured 
to suggest (ERPP, p. 63) that her very name may 
arise from a popular etymology of Aryan antiquity, 
so that she began as " Mother Earth " and took on 
her the idea of " right-thinking, piety," by confusion 
with another combination. 3 Plutarch calls her a-cxpia, 
but of course it will be remembered that Wisdom is 
a very practical virtue in Parsism from the first. So 
the connexion with the beneficent 4 Earth was easy 
to maintain. 

A further characteristic of Aramaiti should be 

1 See, for example, Ys 33 6 , 30 9 , and 29, with my notes. 

2 See on this p. lOf. There is a very full study of Aramaiti by 
Prof. Carnoy in Museon, ii.s., xiii. 127 ff. 

3 I ought perhaps to repeat my suggestion here for convenience. 
Since Zpa (epae, " earthwards ") is an old word for Earth, ard mdtd is a 
possible name (in nom.) for " Mother Earth," which may have been 
confused in the Aryan period with the word for "right thinking," 
the antitheses of which are found in Avestan (Gathic pairimaiti, Ys 
32 3 , "perversity," and tarJmaiti, Ys S3 4 , "heresy"). *Ard disappeai-ed 
in Aryan the adjective prthivl, "broad," ejected its accompanying 
noun in the earliest period of Skt. But our earth survives to witness 
it, conflate perhaps with a distinct name Nerthus, the earth-deity in 

4 Spanta, see p. 145 f. 


noted here. In my note on the Gathic verse, Ys 45*, 
I have defended the rendering which makes Ahura 
Mazdah "the Father of the active Good Thought, 
and his daughter is Piety." That relationship be 
comes fixed in the Later Avesta, where also Atar is 
Mazdah s " son." Gunkel 1 brings Aramaiti thus into 
comparison with Athena as daughter of Zeus, Ishtar- 
Siduri, goddess of Wisdom, daughter of Anu, Sin, or 
Bel, with the Gnostic Sophia and the Wisdom of 
Proverbs. I mention it mainly by way of calling 
attention to the very trifling anthropomorphism in- 
, olved by the Gathic phrase, which does not really 
go beyond Wordsworth s 

Stern Daughter of the Voice of God, 
O Duty ! 

The use of the figure in Later Parsism is markedly 
more literal. 

Some special questions arise as to the origin and 
functions of the inseparable pair who in later Parsism 
were assigned the last places in the Hexad : we have 
already seen that in the Gathas the line is not drawn. 
" Welfare and Immortality" are not so much attri 
butes as gifts of Mazdah, sharing with Aramaiti the 
difference which thus sets them apart from the first 
three. It might almost be suggested that symmetry 
had something to do with the fixing of the Hexad ; 
and if, as we suggest, the Magi were really responsible 
for it, the assumption would be quite in character. 
Late descriptions of the Amshaspands represent them 
sitting three on each side of Ahura at " heaven s high 
:ouncil- table." On one side are the three whose 
lames are of neuter gender, regarded later as male ; 

1 Religions geschichtliche Verstandnis des N.T., 26. 


on the other three abstractions with feminine names, 
naturally treated as goddesses. The distinction of 
sex is, as Diogenes saw, 1 altogether foreign to genuine 
Parsism, as is proved by the very fact that asam, vohu 
mano and ^saOrdm are neuter nouns. But there 
happens to be also a real distinction of nature, in that 
half these spirits represent what Mazdah is and the 
other half what he gives. It is, however, more than 
doubtful whether Zarathushtra himself would have 
allowed the distinction, any more than he would have 
sanctioned the rigid limitation of the number. He 
puts Srao$a side by side with XmOra, as we saw above ; 
and Aramaiti in one place ( Ys 31 4 ) forms a close pair 
with A si, " Recompense," the two names appearing 
idiomatically in the dual as the last two Amshaspands 
constantly do. There is no real reason to suppose 
that a difference of kind was conceived. Putting 
aside, therefore, as irrelevant for primitive Parsism the 
question whether Welfare and Immortality should 
exclude other like spirits from the last places in a 
closed circle, we notice two points about their history. 
That they represent Water and Plants appears in the 
Gathas (Ys 51 7 ), and we can see that Zarathushtra is 
preserving and adapting an old Aryan myth of the 
water of youth and the food of immortality. Prof. 
Jackson notes 2 that they are the heavenly counter 
parts of " strength and abiding " (tdvisl utayuiti, Ys 
51 7 ). Now Water and Plants are the special care of 
other genii, notably Anahita and the Fravashis. I 
am inclined to think that the twin Amshaspands were 
intended to supersede the latter, who were very 
popular among the people to whom Zarathushtrs 

1 Procem. 6 ; see below,, p. 4-13 f. 2 Grundriss, ii. 638. 


preached, and that the unmistakably foreign Anahita 
came in from the other side to poach on their pre 
serves at a later time. But these may not have been 
the only ancient divinities for whom Haurvatat and 
Ameretat were substitutes or rivals. The strongly 
marked twin-like character of the pair suggests that 
they may have replaced the Aryan Dioscuri, whose 
epithet Ndsatyd (of unknown meaning) survives on 
apparently Aryan ground at Boghaz-keui, and in the 
Later Avestan form many centuries later as the 
demon NanhaiQya. 1 Their functions do not strikingly 
recall the vivid figures of the Indian Acvins, except 
that they are physicians and deliverers, who stave off 
disease and danger. But all we know from other 
Indo-European mythology of the prominence of 
Dioscuric worship makes us expect to find in Parsism 
:races of a cultus once universal, and exceedingly 
Drominent in the kindred Indian pantheon. 2 

1 The complete loss of all consciousness of original meaning, com- 
)ined with the lateness of the Avestan texts (Vd 10 9 19 43 ) which 
mme this featureless demon in company with Indra and Saurva, 
nake it at least possible that it has been reimported, and represents 
inti-Hindu polemic (cf. the Indian gods Indra and Cjirva). Similar 
ate polemic is probably to be found in the reference (Yt IS 1 *) to the 
icretic Gaotdma, who is best taken, I think, as Gautama the Buddha : 
ee on this p. 28 f. Bartholomae does not give his reasons (AirWb, 
81) for regarding this as improbable. The Buiidahish (28 10 ) 
ssigns " discontent " to Nanhaidya as his function, and has in the 
ame passage provinces for Indra and Saurva, equally unoriginal, 
> all seeming. 

2 To complete the analogy, Castor and Polydeuces must have a 
ister Helena, as the A9vinau have A9vini. Aramaiti would natur- 
ily fill this place. But I fear this is all too speculative. On the 

hole question of Twin-cultus see Dr J. Rendel Harris s works, 
he Cult of the Heavenly Twins and The Dioscuri in Christian 


Zarathushtra s solution of the problem of Evil, and 
his doctrine of the Future, I shall deal with at greater 
length in the next two Lectures ; and a few details 
of the Gathic system may be left to be annotated in 
connexion with the translation that appears in the 
Appendix. One subject only I shall take up here 
before leaving the Gathas. How are we to classify 
Zarathushtra as between the two great categories 
into which men of religion naturally fall ? Was 
he Prophet and Teacher, or was he Priest ? Is 
the religion of the Gathas practical and ethical, or 
sacerdotal ? 

Now there is one passage in the Gathas where the 
preacher does call himself by the old Aryan name 
zaotar (Skt hotar), " priest." In Ys 33 6 (cited Yt 4 7 ) 
we read : 

I who as priest would learn through Asa the straight 
paths, would learn by the Best Spirit how to practise 

In the Later Avesta the zaotar is a chief priest whose 
special duty is chanting the Gathas. This is obviously 
the successor of the priest who in Iranian worship 
stood before the Fire chanting a Qeoyovin or Yasht, in 
the classical description of Herodotus. 1 By the time 
of the historian s travels, the Magi had made them 
selves indispensable for this function ; but there is no 
reason whatever for postulating a sacerdotal caste in 
Aryan times or in the days of Zarathushtra, as there 
was apparently in the Late Avestan period. Thf 
aOravano 2 or " Fire-priests " do not appear at all ir 
the Gathas, and there is a hint in the Haptanghait 

1 See below, p. 395. 2 The name of course is Aryan. 


that they came from abroad. 1 They are of course the 
TTvpaiQoi of Strabo. The one suggestion of a caste 
connected with religion in the Gathas is the appear 
ance of three classes (see Ys 32 1 and note), airyaman, 
^actu, and wrazdna, which Bartholomae makes out to 
be severally priests, nobles, and husbandmen. In the 
Later Avesta we have a fourfold division aOravan, 
raOaestar ("charioteer"), v astrya fhiyant ("herds 
man"), huiti ("artisan"): the name for "caste "was 
oiStra (Ys 19 17 ), which meant "colour," like the 
Indian varna, and suggests the presence of distinct 
races. The six tribes of the Medes (Herod, i. 101) 
ire a parallel. Now we can hardly understand the 
Sathas on the assumption that Zarathushtra himself 
aelonged to a separate and higher priestly caste. His 
enthusiasm for husbandry would make us put him 
with the lowest of the three, if we were free to choose. 
The question really is what functions we are to assign 
;o the airyaman. The word is Aryan. In the Rig- 
/eda (Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, 45) Aryaman is 
lamed a hundred times and has the dignity of an 
4ditya ; but he is " destitute of individual character- 
sties," and nearly always named with Mitra and 
^aruna. Prof. Macdonell says that in less than a 
lozen places the word means " comrade," much as 
Vlitra means " friend," and this is apparently its 
neaning in the Gathas. Is there anything to prevent 
he "brotherhood" in question from being simply 
he fellowship of teacher and disciples who amid 
auch detraction (Ys 33 4 ) strive to spread their 
nessage through the community ? The very fact 

1 See p. 88. On priestly families in Indo-European times, see 
trader, in ERE, ii. 42 f. 


that the other two castes are the same in Gathas and 
Later Avesta for the " nobles " and the " charioteers " 
are obviously the same makes it more striking that 
the place of the dOravan is taken in the Gathas by a 
class the name of which at any rate carries no sort of 
priestly function. That Zarathushtra is teacher and 
prophet is written large over every page of the Gathas. 
He is perpetually striving to persuade men of the 
truth of a great message, obedience to which will 
bring them everlasting life. He has a revelation, a 
mystery, which he offers to " him who knows " : it is 
an esoteric doctrine which bigoted partisans of the 
old daevayasna will not receive. Men have their 
free choice, though Aramaiti pleads with the wavering 
soul. He who has brought the message will be men s 
judge at the last, for he has given them a word of 
Truth and they spurn it at their peril. There is no 
room for sacerdotal functions as a really integral part 
of such a man s gospel ; and of ritual or spells we hear 
as little as we expect to hear, after studying the life 
and work of religious reformers in other parts of the 
world. Ritual has its place, but it is not in the first 
fresh dawn of a religion that is going to live. 1 

I have not by any means exhausted the topics that 
may be, or even ought to be, discussed in a lecture 
upon the Prophet of Iran. But my limits do not 
permit of any attempt at completeness, and I have 

1 That Zarathushtra was afterwards assumed to be a Magus, and 
that his name, with a superlative suffix (zaraOmtrotdmc?) became a 
term for "high priest," I regard as irrelevant. I have given 
reasons elsewhere (esp. p. 197 f.) for believing that the Magi adapted 
his system long after his day and claimed his name. This is ob 
viously natural, and it is just the sort of question on which the 
assertions of later generations count for very little. See also p. 41 1 



still to sketch the main lines of the Counter-reforma 
tions which are to be recognised as underlying the 
Later Avesta, as I have already tried to prove. The 
very possibility of such counter-reformation depends 
on the disappearance, very soon after the Prophet s 
death, of that passionate conviction which made him 
incapable of countenancing any concession to rival 
inferior creeds. Prof. Eduard Meyer 1 remarks on the 
accommodating character of Mazdeism, which could 
adopt foreign deities by the simple device of making 
them servants of Ahura Mazdah. He mentions 
Aramaic inscriptions in Cappadocia which show Bel 
recognising Din Mazdayamis as his sister and wife. 
This accommodating temper, utterly foreign to the 
enthusiasm of Zarathushtra, must have been the 
national bent, to which the people reverted easily 
when the fiery personality was withdrawn. It was, 
however, this very power of adaptation which made it 
possible for the religion even if only in forms widely 
differing from the original to spread beyond the 
bounds of its early home. There was no nationalism 
connected with it, no suggestion that Ahura Mazdah 
was still what he had been at first, the " god of the 
Aryans" alone. Great Persian magnates who had 
estates in Armenia and Cappadocia took their religion 
into these districts. The inscription of Antiochus 
of Commagene shows with what energy many of 
these propagandists carried the faith. 2 But it was 
not the highly abstract and profound teaching of the 
Founder that went forth conquering and to conquer. 

1 Enc. Brit. 11 , s.v. "Persia" (210A). 

2 The foregoing remarks are largely drawn from some excellent 
observations of E. Meyer, in Gesch. d. Alt., iii. 128. 


In the absence of enthusiasm for his deeper doctrines, 
never really understood, it was easy to keep his names 
and forms, and deny his spirit, unconsciously enough. 
Hence the two successive movements, one of mere 
relapse, the other of drastic innovation, which created 
the Later Avesta and transformed Zarathushtra s 
religion till it would have been hardly recognised 
by him. The mischief was only partially undone by 
the Sassanian reformers, who could not revive the 
Prophet s spirit for the multitude of clouds that had 
arisen to hide him. 

The earliest among these movements is seen in the 
Gatha Haptanghaiti. Its identity of dialect shows 
that we cannot separate it far in period or in place 
from the Gathas proper. Its extraordinary difference 
in religious standpoint, with the fact that it is in 
prose, might point to its coming from a community 
distinct from that which received and preserved the 
Gathas themselves. It was not a community 
consciously alien from the Reform, for we actually 
find Zarathushtra installed as an object of worship. 1 
If the passage where this appears is an original part 
of the text and of course in a prose composition we 
have no resources for proving this we naturally pre 
sume that we have to do with a period a generation 
or two after Zarathushtra s death, and a social stratum 
separated from the literary and presumably aristocratic 
traditions in which the verse Gathas arose. In such 
a community it was inevitable that the old Aryan 
nature-worship should remain almost unaltered. The 

1 Ys 4t2 2 , " we adore Mazdah and Zarathushtra." This answers 
to Later Avestan passages like Yt 13 94 , where Zarathushtra is wor 
shipped with zaoQra and barasman. 


already ancient cult of "the Wise Ahura," the special 
divinity of the aristocracy, 1 had been adopted by their 
feudal retainers ; and the Prophet who had been so 
effectively patronised by the court was duly honoured 
as yazata, though perhaps the fact that he is named 
but once 2 illustrates the relatively small importance 
that he had attained in the popular esteem. We 
naturally compare with this the oft-discussed absence 
of Zarathushtra s name from the Inscriptions. The 
most characteristic creations of Zarathushtra, the 
Amshaspands, are before us, and they are collected 
into a definite community and distinguished by a 
corporate name. But, as we have seen, this is only 
an apparent conformity, which may very well cover 
a real return to an old Aryan use. Asha, whose 
name is conspicuously Aryan, is far the most 
prominent among the individual Amshaspands, of 
whom only the first four are named at all : whether 
Ox-Soul and Ox-Creator and Fire are meant to be 
included among the " Lords " we have no means of 
knowing. They are worshipped manifestly, as are 
the Waters, Fravashis, and Haoma. The Waters 
receive their old Aryan name of " wives " of the deity, 
being linked with the sacred Earth. 3 An interesting 
contact with the Inscriptions may be seen in Ys 37 1 , 
where it is said of Ahura Mazdah that he 

made the Cattle and the Right, made the Waters and 
the good Plants, made the Light and the Earth and all 
that is good. 

The words have a ring decidedly like that of the 

1 See above, pp. 32, 60. 

2 Wolff would make him implied in Ys 35 9 . 3 Ys 38 1 . 


recurrent Lobgesang of Darius to the " great god 

who made this earth, who made yon heaven, who made 
man, who made welfare for man, who set up Darius as king, 
one king of many, one lord of many. 1 

Zarathushtra had after all left behind him the em 
phasis that he most desired the uniqueness of the 
Creator as the central feature of the faith. Darius 
preserved his system more perfectly than the framers 
of the Haptanghaiti, who compromised monotheism 
seriously, and never even named the powers of evil 
which came so prominently into the Gathas and the 
records of Behistan. 

The characteristics of the Haptanghaiti are repro 
duced and emphasised in the older Yashts. Here 
the Aryan " Heavenly Ones " are back again in 
their original place, only formally subordinated to 
the supremacy of Ahura Mazdah. And even the 
supremacy itself seems grievously affected when 
Mazdah himself is said to have sacrificed to the 
yazata whose praises occupy the hymn, and im 
plored his or her help. Anthropomorphism is 
complete. The Amshaspands, who in the Haptang 
haiti were already male and female, 2 are definitely 
the children of Ahura, 3 just as the Waters were his 
wives. The details of this revived Aryan cultus 
will prompt some comments elsewhere. 4 Here it 

1 Dar.NR a 1 , al. 

2 Ys 39 3 , " die guten (Gotter) und guten (Gottinnen)," as Wolff 
has it the original has simply bonos bonasque. We must remember 
that the Gathic names are neuter and feminine respectively, and the 
latter accordingly no more represent female spirits than the former 
represent males : see above, p. 113 f. 

3 Yt IS 82 . 4 See p. 271 f. 


must suffice to note how the atmosphere of the 
Vedas is brought back, not in the Gathas, which 
come so near to the Vedic in language, but in the 
verse Yashts, whose very metre approximates to 
those of Indian poets more closely than the measures 
found in the Gathas. 1 

The last stage in the syncretism is, on our theory, 
connected with the Magian name. It is not always 
possible to assign a given feature of later Parsism 
to the one side or the other of the reaction, but the 
general lines are clear enough. We are not yet 
ready for the analysis of Magian dualism, nor for 
that of the ritual which so largely depended upon 
it. Here I will only recall my remark that until 
the Sassanian revival the West only knew as much 
of real Zoroastrianism as the Magi chose to transmit. 
Having once decisively claimed the Prophet as one 
of themselves, the Magi followed on to make truly 
their own as much of his system as they were 
capable of apprehending. They preserved the 
Gathas and the Yashts, and composed the ritual 
parts of the Avesta. They do not seem to have 
learnt how to imitate the verse which they trans 
mitted so well, and all their own additions seem to 
have been in prose. Our most notable Greek re 
presentations of Parsism, especially that in Plutarch, 
are of Magianism essentially. Zarathushtra s doctrine 
was kept in the East, just as his own vitality was 
fabled to have been kept in the waters of the eastern 
lake, till the time came for Saoshyant to be born. 

1 On the whole subject of Avestan verse, see the chapter in 
ERPP : it has not seemed sufficiently relevant to my present 
purpose for me to repeat its substance here. 


Even so the full system of the Prophet was known 
after the Sassanian age. But by that time the 
world was no longer ready to listen. Zarathushtra 
did not come " in the fullness of the time " he 
came too early, and too late as well ! 



Fravarane Mazdayasno ZaraQustris Vldaevo Ahuratkaeso. 

ie I declare myself a Mazdah- worshipper, a Zoroastrian, an enemy 
of the Daevas, holding Ahura s Law." OLDEST ZOROASTRIAN CREED. 

FROM Zarathushtra s doctrine of God we pass on 
to his doctrine of Evil, which is an essential part 
of it, and the most conspicuous of his contributions 
to religious thought. I call it essential because it 
involves a limitation of God s omnipotence, even 
though it be only during a definite period of time. 
In his admirable article on Iranian Dualism in the 
latest volume of Dr Hastings Encyclopedia, 1 Dr 
Casartelli very justly says that our calling the Parsi 
solution of the problem of Evil " dualistic " is mainly 
a matter of terms. He would himself retain the 
term on the ground that the Parsi Evil Spirit is 
independent, and can create. I had rejected it, 
since it seemed to me inconsistent with an optimist 
outlook on the future. Whatever view Parsism 
has taken as to the past history of the evil principle, 
it has always declared that its future is utter and 
final destruction. If we restrict ourselves to the 
origin of evil and its development during human 
history past and future, we may use the term 

1 EKE, v. 1 1 1 f. 



dualism fairly enough, in Dr Casartelli s sense, for 
until the Frasok9r9ti there is a power independent 
of God which God cannot destroy, sharing his 
peculiarly divine prerogative of creation. 

But this Lecture is primarily concerned with 
Zarathushtra s doctrine of evil, and here I can see 
no evidence whatever to justify the imputation of 
dualism. We have already realised that Parsism 
as we have it must be distinguished in many 
important respects from the teaching of its Founder, 
as far as we have this in the Gathas. When 
we come to discuss Magianism we shall find that 
nothing is more characteristic of that system of 
thought than the " tendency towards . . . bilateral 
symmetry," as Dr Casartelli puts it : whether it is 
Iranian or not we will consider later on. I want 
to lay all possible stress on the importance of de 
lineating Zarathushtra s doctrine of evil from the 
Gathas, and the Gathas alone. We shall find that 
unless we think ourselves justified in reading back 
from the Later Avesta and the Pahlavi classics, 
we have really no proof that the Founder himself 
originated many of the most conspicuous elements 
in Parsi dualism. He shares with his successors 
the confidence that " Good will be the final goal 
of ill." But the very name of Ahriman is due to 
a later application of an incidental epithet occurring 
once in the Gathas. The creative privilege of " the 
Lie," her independence of Mazdah, the co-eternity 
in the past of the " Bad Spirit " with the " Holy 
Spirit," and other crucial notions which later theology 
developed, cannot be proved from the Gathas. I do 
not feel at all sure that the Prophet himself, if con- 


fronted with accurately drawn pictures of the Evil 
Spirit, gathered from the New Testament and the 
Later Avesta respectively, might not have pointed 
to the first as in some important points nearer to 
his own view, except for the absence of any opening 
for regarding Good and Evil as "twins." 

The rather unprofitable question as to originality 
is raised about Zarathushtra, as about all other great 
religious teachers. To judge from the language of 
some theorists in our midst, no new religious idea 
ever was invented : they were all implicit somehow 
in protoplasm at the creation, if such an archaic 
term may be used for brevity. I am not careful 
to defend the Prior it at of Zarathushtra or of yet 
greater teachers, for the higher originality is generally 
found in one who can re-mint old gold and " make 
it current coin." I am content to accept the fact 
that before Zarathushtra began his own thinking 
he was familiar enough with the idea of a stream 
of tendency, not ourselves, making for unrighteous 
ness. Iranian folk-religion, like most others, had 
plenty of hurtful spirits ; and if Zarathushtra found 
the source of all evil in a spiritual power working 
havoc in the world and in the heart of man, he 
was only systematising a philosophy the germs of 
which were easily found. But in laying down 
man s duty in the face of this evil power he may 
claim credit as the pioneer of a most momentous 
revolution. In every other religion, outside Israel, 
there were demons to be propitiated by any device 
that terror could conceive. Zarathushtra from the 
first bade men " resist the devil." The Magi, as 
Plutarch tells us (p. 399 f. below), invoked " Hades and 


Darkness " in a sunless place, with 
and the blood of a wolf. Mithraists dedicated offer 
ings DEO ARIMANIO. But none dared to interpo 
late such an element in the Avesta. The faithful 
Zoroastrian has never had anything to do with 
Ahriman but to fight him and destroy his creation. 
It was a veritable emancipation for devil-ridden souls, 
ever cringing with fear before powers of darkness 
possessing vague but intensely real capacity for 

We may return for a moment to the subject just 
referred to, and ask whether we may postulate the 
existence in unreformed Iranian religion of a con 
ception of a god of darkness, capable of suggesting 
to Zarathushtra some lines for his portraiture, while 
no less supplying elements against which he would 
protest with all his power. Between Herodotus, 
Plutarch, and the Anahita Yasht I think we can 
answer the question in the affirmative. Plutarch, as 
we have seen, credits the Magi with an apotropaic 
ritual carried on in a sunless place and addressed to 
Hades and Darkness. The Magi in his time were 
priests of a very syncretistic religion, and such rites 
suited their antitheses entirely, whether they got the 
hint from an Aryan infernal power, or from the 
Babylonian Nergal, or from a devil of their own. 
That the last of these alternatives may be rejected 
is proved, 1 think, by a remarkable story in Herodotus 
(vii. 114). Amestris, wife of Xerxes, as we noted in 
Lecture II., buried alive fourteen 1 Persian children 

of high rank, to propitiate ru VTTO yfjv \eyo/u.evu> elvai 6ea). 

This we compare at once with the mention of Hades 

1 On fourteen, cf. Frazer, Golden Bough 3 , v. i. 32. 


in Plutarch and elsewhere as the nearest Greek 
equivalent of Ahriman. Since, as we saw (p. 57), 
this could not possibly have been done by Magi, we 
naturally assume that it was Iranian, and that Xerxes 
and his wife, as might be expected, reverted to usages 
abhorred by the Prophet, whose doctrine the really 
religious Darius followed in the main. The Mithraic 
sacrifice will also derive from this chthonian rite, 
which has parallels enough in Indo-European religion. 
Now the A vesta itself gives indications of the ex 
istence of this heresy. In the Gathas even ( Ys 31 10 ) 
we read of a teacher of evil who declares "the Ox 
and the Sun the worst things to behold with the 
eyes," who perverts the pious and desolates the 
pastures. Bartholomae sees here an allusion to 
nocturnal orgies of daevayasna, associated with 
slaughter of cattle. The Mithraic taurobolium 
naturally suggests itself, though Prof. Cumont 
regards this as late in origin : 1 might it not after all 
have been based upon a really ancient usage ? Then 
in Yt 5 94 we have a very curious reference to 
" libations " brought by " (/ami-worshipping Liars " 
(drvanto daevayasnavho] to Aniihita after sunset, 
which Anahita declares will be received by Daevas 
and not by her. Darmesteter compares Vd 7 79 , 
where we read of a " forbidden libation offered in 
the twilight " ; 2 also Nirangistdn 48, condemning a 
libation to the Good Waters (the predecessors of 

1 See his Textes, i. 334, n. 5 . He regards it as ancient, but not 
in Mithraism. But he mentions (p. 335) the immolation of the 
mythic Ox, which might well suggest it. 

2 Darmesteter renders "in the dead of the night/ which suits 
his own parallels badly. I correct from Wolff. 



Anahita) after sunset or before sunrise. All this I 
think is a heretical ritual, originating in Iran, and 
surviving in Mithraism, in the superstitions of Xerxes 
and others whose Zoroastrian orthodoxy was but skin- 
deep, and in practices adopted by the Magi, as con 
genial to their system. They threw it off later, when 
in the Sassanian revival a healthier doctrine came to 
the front, more directly dependent on the esoteric 
lore of Zarathushtra, as preserved by this same caste, 
which had in greater or less degree countenanced a 
less desirable practice. 

There were not wanting other evil divinities in 
the Iranian world to which Zarathushtra came. 
As usual, they presided over special departments. 
There was " Bad Season " (Duzyairya, O.P. Dusiyar, 
dusyariy in the Manichsean MS. from Turfan), who 
brought the farmer all he dreaded most. There was 
"Wrath" (aesma, cf. ofca, ira), drunken rage, unless 
indeed he is a personification due to Zarathushtra 
himself, which is perhaps more likely. The serpent 
(azi, cf. Skt ahi, Gk. ex*?) might have been developed ; 
but the latent possibilities were left very much as 
were those of the figure in the third chapter of 
Genesis. A general name for dangerous spirits was 
also available in buiti, Skt bfiuta, "ghost"- the word 
which Darmesteter during a temporary eclipse of the 
philological faculty wanted to compare with Buddha. 1 
There were probably many more to choose from, 
and the fact enhances the significance of the choice 
that was made. The supremacy of Truth among 
the virtues was as conspicuous for the settled agri- 

1 See SEE, iv. 2 209 n. Perhaps we need only accuse Darmesteter 
of taking rather too seriously an etymology out of the Bundahish. 


culturists of Eastern Iran as for Darius and his 
Persians in the West ; and Zarathushtra was following 
the strongest element in the national character when 
he concentrated all evil into the figure of Falsehood, 
Druj, the antagonist of Asa, " Truth " or " Right." 
It is hardly realised as it should be that for Zara 
thushtra himself, as studied in his own Hymns, " the 
Lie " is beyond all comparison the name for the spirit 
of evil. Drdgvant, answering well to the phrase in 
the Apocalypse, "whosoever loveth and maketh a 
Lie," is the perpetual term for those who take the 
devil s side in human life. So conspicuous is this in 
the Gathas that 1 feel strongly inclined to make its 
very similar conspicuousness in Darius s Inscription 
a balancing argument in determining the great 
king s religion. For him as for Zarathushtra the Lie 
sums up all evil. A rebel against his royal authority 
which was after all only that of a de facto monarch 
" lies " by the mere act of rebellion, when there is 
admittedly no imposture about it. A spirit of dis 
loyalty in a province is described by the same com 
prehensive noun. The Old Persian word is one that 
appears in the Avesta, though not commonly, being 
the same word as druj, but in a different declension. 1 
One other possible ancestor of Zarathushtra s arch- 
devil may be noticed on a suggestion of Tiele- 

1 The cognate druh in Sanskrit retains hardly any trace of the 
meaning "perfidious," being generalised into "injurious/ or (as a 
noun) " fiend " (fern.). The German Betrug and the derivatives 
Traum, dream, make the meaning " deceive " probable for the earliest 
stage ; and the Iranian meaning is unambiguous. We must, 
however, note Prof. Schrader s reminder (Ileallex., p. 27) that the 
Old Norse draugr, Old English dredg, support the suggestion of 
" malignant spirit " as primary. 


Soderblom, p. 374, where Ahriman s (Later Avestan) 
epithet pouru-mahrka, " full of death," is regarded as 
perhaps a survival from an old god of death, dwelling 
underground. This will naturally be the " Hades " 
with whom Plutarch equates Areimanios, the " god 
said to dwell under the earth," to whom the wife of 
Xerxes offered victims buried alive. (See p. 128 f.) 
He must belong to the unreformed Aryan religion : 
the Magi could not allow him to inhabit the sacred 

In one very remarkable passage of the Gathas 
Zarathushtra propounds his doctrine of the origin of 
evil. The thirtieth Yasna has the appearance of 
being a Lehrgedicht, a concentration into verse form 
of the Prophet s central doctrines for the purpose of 
retention in the memory. The third stanza of this 
Gatha is so crucial that I must quote it exactly, 
with the thankful preface that for once there is no 
serious divergence between our authorities as to its 
translation. 1 

3. Now the two primal Spirits, who revealed themselves 
in vision (?) as Twins, are what is Better and what is 
Bad in thought and word and action. And between these 
two the wise once chose aright, the foolish not so. 

4. And when these twain spirits came together in the 
beginning, they established Life and Not-life, and that at the 
last the Worst Existence shall be to the liars (dngvatam ), but 
the Best Thought to him that follows Right (asaone). 

A Pahlavi treatise declares that Ormazd and 

1 In ERPP, 93, I recorded Geldner s dissonance. But in his last 
writing on the subject (Lesebuch, 324) he accepts " Twins " for 
yyma, which enables us to treat it as certain : its importance is 
manifest. That he still differs as to ^afnd (" nach ihrem eigenen 
Wort ") matters less. 


Ahriman were once brothers in one womb. 1 The 
doctrine was specially associated with the sect of the 
Zervanites, who found the necessary parent in the 
concept of " Boundless Time." There is nothing to 
prove that Zarathushtra wasted on metaphysics time 
which he needed for practical teaching ; and he may 
be safely assumed to have meant only that Good and 
Evil were co-eternal in the past, or arose together 
" in the beginning " (pouruyg, cf. Skt purva, "former " 
or " first "). Evil is thus the antithesis, the counter 
action of Good. Plutarch s description of the Evil 
Power creating avrlre-^yoi to the creations of the 
Good (p. 401 below), though primarily Magian in 

1 See Dinkart, ix. SO 4 (SBE, xxxvii. 242), where the saying is 
attributed to the demon Aresh, and expressly repudiated by the 
Avestan Varstmansar Nas/c, according to the record of the Pahlavi. 
West refers to the Pahlavi on Ys SO 3 , and compares the statement 
of the Armenian Eznik (Haug, Essays, p. 13). 

2 On the Zervanites see Soderblonij La Vie Future, p. 248. The 
subject lies far beyond our limits, for the date of the triumph of 
the sect is in the fifth century A.D. But the statement of Berosus 
that "Zerovanus" was an ancient king proves, as Breal notes, the 
idea current as early as the fourth century B.C. Its presence in 
Mithraism also attests its antiquity. But Cumont observes (Textes, 
20) that the Avestan traces of it are small. And in Zad-sparam s 
Selections (SBE, v. 160) we have it expressly stated that in aid of the 
celestial sphere [Auharmazd] produced the creature Time (zorvan). 
This statement agrees with the spirit of the Avestan theology. 
Mithraism might make Kronos (i.e. Zervan) supreme ; but for the 
true Avestan system, whether Zarathushtrian or Magian, Ahura 
must be first. It may be noted that long ere Zervan secured his 
temporary exaltation he had changed his original character. In 
Mithraism he was Kpovos, presumably a misunderstanding of Xpdvos, 
to which he no longer answered. And in late Greek writers he 
appears as TVXTJ, which agrees with the strong fatalism that marked 
the heresy. See Dr L. H. Gray s article on " Fate " (Iranian) in 
ERE, v. 792- 


origin, is quite in accordance with the original con 
ception of Zarathushtra. The doctrine that evil is 
essentially negative may certainly claim him as a 
first promulgator ; but we must take the epithet as 
connoting the utmost activity. The evil spirit is 
simply the opposite of the good in every one of his 
functions, fighting against him and his followers 
perpetually, and striving only to ruin every creation. 
The name " driy-having " (drdgvant) is given to him 
in the stanza following those I have quoted, thus 
attaching him to the Druj in the same way as wicked 
men ; and he is said to have chosen the doing of 
what is worst, just as the Holiest Spirit chose Right 
( Asha), truth and perfection. 

It would follow reasonably from this that the evil 
spirit is the spirit of " the Lie," regarded as the 
primary evil power, and that in the same analogy 
the "Holy" or "Holiest Spirit" is the spirit of 
Ahura Mazdah. This last point, however, is not 
quite certain. 1 It seems best to accept the view 

1 Bartholomae s note (Air Wb, 1 1 39) should be cited : " They were 
conceived of as twins, who, remaining in everlasting strife with one 
another, created all that exists. The relation of the good (holy) 
spirit to Ahura Mazdah seems not quite clear. It appears that 
Zarathushtra s teaching is not devised on pure dualistic lines, but 
that it elevates over the two primeval and equipotent spirits of the 
strict dualism the divinity of Ahura Mazdah. In this way the holy 
spirit, where he is set in relation to Ahura Mazdah, becomes a 
ministering and intermediary spirit of Ahura Mazdah, like Asha, 
Vohu Manah, and the rest ; and as a new antithesis there arises 
Ahura Mazdah and Angra Mainyu. There is an excellent state 
ment on the subject by Geiger, cited with approval by Prof. Jackson 
in the Grundrisa, ii. 648. I have given it in English in ERPP, 
66 f. See also Casartelli s Mazdayamian Religion under the Sassanids 
(Bombay, 1899), pp. 1-71 : this work is most important for the 
period following that to which these Lectures are restricted. 


excellently expressed by Geldner in Enc. Brit. 11 
xxviii. 1041 : "The Wise Lord ... is the primeval 
spiritual being, the All-father, who was existent 
before ever the world arose. . . . His guiding spirit 
is the Holy Spirit, which wills the good : yet it 
is not free, but restricted, in this temporal epoch, 
by its antagonist and own twin brother, the Evil 
Spirit. ... In the Gathas the Good Spirit of 
Mazdah and the Evil Spirit are the two great 
opposing forces in the world, and Ormazd him 
self is to a certain extent placed above them both. 
Later the Holy Spirit is made directly equivalent to 

Once in the Gathas we find an epithet used for 
the " Bad Spirit " which, though to all appearance 
merely casual, was destined to have a long history. 
In Ys 45 2 Zarathushtra declares : 

I will tell of the two spirits in the beginning of the 
world, the holier of whom spake thus to the hostile : 
" Neither our thoughts, nor our doctrines, nor our pur 
poses, nor our convictions, nor our words, nor our works, 
nor our selves, nor our souls agree together." 

The word angra, rendered " hostile " or etymologi- 
cally " fiend " - is not elsewhere applied to the 
Evil Spirit in the Gathas, 1 and it is used of human 

1 Prof. Jackson (Grundriss, ii. 650) says that in the Gathas " the 
name of the evil spirit, mainyu, with the epithet angra, occurs only 
three or four times. He gives as references Ys 45 2 , 44 12 , and as 
a general adjective 43 15 , also dat. sing. fern, [or adverb] angrayd, 
48 10 . In 44 12 , Bartholomae is right, I think, in making angro a 
human enemy: see however p. 137 n. The other two occurrences 
of the adjective could not possibly apply to Ahriman, so that the 
total is reduced to one after all. Reference should be made to 
Prof. Jackson s article " Ahriman " in ERE, i. 237. 


enemies or evil men : clearly it has not begun to 
be a title in any sense. There would be quite as 
much reason for isolating Ako Mainyus as Zara- 
thushtra s name for him, for "the Bad Spirit" also 
occurs once (Ys 32 5 q.v.}, and there is another place 
( Ys 30 3 , quoted above) where " the Bad " (neuter) 
stands in apposition. It seems extremely probable 
that Zarathushtra s successors took up this casual 
epithet and created the proper name of the Iranian 
evil spirit. Their choice may have been partly deter 
mined by a collocation found on Darius s Inscrip 
tion, probably reflecting there an association already 
fixed. Darius tells us 1 that Mazdah blessed and 
advanced him " because I was not an enemy nor 
a deceiver" (naiy arika naiy draujana aham}. The 
first word ( = ah?i-ha) is identical with the Gathic 
angra (Aryan *asrd), with an adjective suffix added ; 
the second is derived from the name of the arch 
fiend, Drauga, " the Lie." If we are right in 
regarding Darius as the first really Zoroastrian 
king, we may take this passage as evidence that 
the two words were already related in the vocabulary 
of religion. Darius, perhaps, cannot be said to 
have used a phrase which we should translate 
" because I was not a follower of Ahriman and the 
Druj " ; but he does not fall far short. When 
once the title was appropriated, it became a fixed 
and permanent name, entirely ousting the Druj 
from place of power, so that in the Later Avesta 
she becomes only an ordinary fiend. This crystal 
lising process seems to me very clearly the work 
of the Magi, who needed a title that could claim 

1 Bh 4 13 . 


Zarathushtra s authority for a devil very different 
in many respects from his concept. 1 

But we must keep for the present to Zarathushtra 
himself, and see how he marshalled the hosts that 
ranged themselves for the great conflict, on the 
side of Right and of Wrong. He emphasises from 
the first that it was a matter of free choice. The 
stanza quoted above (Ys 30 3 ), which tells us of 
the Twin Spirits, closes with the statement that 
the understanding chose the one and those void of 
understanding the other. These adjectives (hudavko, 
duzdavho) are used of the heavenly and infernal 
spirits as well as of men, but the latter are no 
doubt intended here. The antithesis of wisdom 
and folly is wholly ethical, as in the Sapiential 
Books of the Old Testament. After stating that 
those men who would please Ahura made the w r ise 
choice, the poet goes on to say that the Daeva 
chose " the Worst Thought " after taking counsel 
together, for infatuation came upon them. There 
is a clear remembrance here that the Daeva were 
once divine spirits, whose deliberate choice trans- 

1 Dr Casartelli writes to me thus (May 30, 1913) : " As regards 
Angro-M. in the Gathas, I am much impressed by Ys 44 12 , with its 
curious Anro-Angro, and its jeu de mots. As I take it, I read : 
Quis sanctus [inter illos] quibuscum loquor, quisve scelestus ? Ad 
quern [adhaeret] Impius [Spiritus] ? Vel ille-ne Malus [Spiritus 
ipse est] qui, mihi infensus, Tuas benedictiones impetit ? Quomodo 
ille non-[sit] ? Ipse [enim] mala cogitat [to keep the word 
play, we should have to substitute f spirat ] i.e., is not my 
opponent, who attacks thy teaching, the very devil himself, 
as we might say ? The play on Ahro [Mainyus ?] and ahro 
mainyete seems to suggest itself. The difference between angro 
and anro requires more elucidation. I fancy there is a good deal 
behind it all." 


ferred them to the world of evil. One passage in 
Ys 32 may be specially recalled, to show how 
fresh and keen was the feeling that connected the 
Daevas with their nomadic worshippers, true 
ancestors of the savage Kurds of to-day. Zara- 
thushtra (I. 3 4 ) fiercely attacks them as "seed of 
Bad Thought, of the Lie, and of Arrogance," and 
their followers are as bad. They have " long been 
known by [their] deeds in the seventh Kar&uar of 
the earth," the habitable abode of men : 

For ye have brought it to pass that men who do the 
worst things shall be called " beloved of the Daevas." 

An old Vedic compound, devdjusta (Gathic daevo- 
zuxta), is here suggestive of the manner in which 
the old gods fell from their high estate. It was 
the term used by these robber hordes of themselves 
as they commended their raids to heaven for the 
success they asked of their patrons there. No 
wonder their victims charged upon these divinities 
the wrongs their votaries inflicted. 

The Daeva are of course by their name the Indo- 
European *deivos, known by this title from east to 
furthest west of our speech area. 1 A recent sensa 
tional discovery shows us the names of their chiefs, 
as worshipped by Aryans of some kind as far north 
as Cappadocia in the fourteenth century B.C. I deal 

1 Skt devd, Lat. deus and divos, Lith. dcvas, Old Icel. (pi.) tivar (cf. 
Tuesday), Old Ir. did, etc. From a derivative adjective, with 
weakened root, which makes it equally derivable from *di/eus (Zevs 
Dies-piter, etc.), comes Stos, Lat. dius, Skt divyd. The unrelated 
0eds (orig. meaning " ghost ) took on many of the functions of 
*deivos. It may be observed in passing that Stos aWr/p comes very 
near to Mithra. 



with this matter elsewhere (p. 5-7) ; and here only 
observe that if the Mitanni inscription is surprisingly 
north of India, it is no less surprisingly west of Iran. 
We have no other Iranian evidence for Varuna ; and 
the footing of the demons Indra and NtwkaiOya 
(Nasatyau in Sanskrit, the "Heavenly Twins") in 
the A vesta is so late and uncertain that we suspected 
(p. 115) a reimportation, through anti-Hindu polemic, 
rather than survival. But the remaining name from 
Boghaz-keui is that of Mithra, and we do not need 
evidence that he was worshipped everywhere in Iran 
except where Zarathushtra had his way ! That 
Mithra was in Aryan times the twin of Varuna has 
been already explained (p. 61) ; and I have noted the 
question whether this does not mean that Ahura is 
the Pollux of these Dioscuri in Iran, and Mithra 
the mortal Castor. The total eclipse of the latter in 
the Gathas and Achasmenian Inscriptions, until his 
sudden reappearance under Artaxerxes Mnemon, is 
no accident. Tiele rightly declares 1 that Zara 
thushtra cannot have been unacquainted with him. 
With the suggestion that he was too warlike for 
the Prophet I quite agree ; but I should not add 
"aristocratic," for Mazdah himself decidedly claims 
this adjective, as we have seen (p. 60). The fact 
seems to be that Mithra had two sides, answering to 
the character of different classes of worshippers. On 
one side he was, as we saw (p. 63 f.), pre-eminently 
the god of Compacts, an exceedingly ethical deity 
of whom Zarathushtra need not have been ashamed. 
When the now dominant Magi restored him, wisely 
recognising the fact that the people had never given 

1 Religions oesch., 241. 


up his cult, it was exclusively his nobler side that 
was preserved, as already pictured in the Yasht that 
bears his name. But Mithra was not only Dius 
Fidius. Whatever the origin of the duality, he was 
also on the way to the Sol Invictus of Mithraism, and 
in the character of a mighty warrior was adored by 
robber hordes who had no use for a god of good faith. 
It was in this capacity, I take it, that Zarathushtra 
knew him best. He was one of the divinities " for 
whose sake the Karapan and the Usij gave the cattle 
to violence." 1 No wonder, then, if Zarathushtra trans 
ferred to his shadowy Asha the patronage of Truth 
and Justice which Mithra seemed to have abjured 
under an " infatuation," to " rush off into violence " 
and take the part of the evil power. 

We may also bring in, I think, the powerful 
attraction of monotheism upon the Prophet s mind. 
The great Ahura of Wisdom, who had been enthroned 
perhaps for generations in his own aristocratic clan, 
seemed to leave no room for a second, not to speak 
of an equal : all functions and attributes of deity met 
within his personality, and other " Lords " were only 
a part of himself. Mithra held too great a place in 
the popular theology to be reduced to a mere attribute 
of Mazdah. He must therefore go. In no Gatha 
that the priests have preserved for us is Mithra named 
or hinted at. If even a fairly definite allusion had 
occurred, like one or two stern references to the 
drunkenness which hurled the followers of another 

1 Ys 44 20 . Karapan (akin to Skt kalpa, "rite") is a teacher or 
priest hostile to the Mazdayasna. Usij (Skt tifij) seems to have 
meant nearly the same. Both names, associated inseparably with 
the deva-daeva cultus, have shared its degeneration. 


daiva, Haoma, against Zarathushtra s long-suffering 
agriculturists, we may well doubt whether the 
hymn containing it would have kept its place in the 
yasna of a later day. But I cannot resist the con 
clusion that Mithra does come under the Prophet s 
ban, as a member of the Iranian pantheon which 
he dethroned because it had proved itself ethically 
unequal to the demand his own conscience made 
upon the conception of God. 1 

In this way, we may suppose, the cleavage between 
Mazdayasna and daevayasna came into being. The 
Gathas are full of the signs of a great conflict. 
Chieftains and priests or teachers are named who 
vehemently flung themselves against the heresy 
that thus outraged the old gods. A time of failure 
and persecution leaves its record in the despairing 
cry of Ys 46. Neither high nor low will own the 

1 I ought to point out that my view of Mithra in Zarathushtra s 
thought goes very little beyond that of our two leading German 
Iranists. Geldner says (Enc. Brit. 11 xxviii. 1041) : " Other powers of 
light, such as Mitra the god of day (Iranian Mithra), survived 
unforgotten in popular belief till the later system incorporated 
them in the angelic body. The authentic doctrine of the Gathas 
had no room either for the cult of Mithra or for that of the Haoma." 
Bartholomae (AirWb, 1 185) says the same : " Ich nehme an, dass M. 
in der strengsaraflw^rischen Lehre als Gottheit nicht anerkannt 
war, ebenso wenig wie z. B. Haoma. Da aber der Glaube an M. im 
Volke zu fest wurzelte, waren die Priester spaterhin genotigt, seine 
Verehrung zuzulassen." Mithra, then, did not belong to the 
Mazdayasna : must he not fall to the daevayasna ? Or are we to 
father on Zarathushtra the system described by Plutarch (p. 399, 
below), by which Mithra becomes an "intermediary" (//.eo-tTT/s) 
between Light and Darkness, dwelling as it were in the Hamistakdn 
limbo ? I think my alternative is simpler, and its difficulty is re 
duced by recognising a better and a baser side in the conception 
of Mithra. Imagine Zarathushtra assisting at a taurobolium \ 


Prophet, and the rulers of the land follow the Lie : he 
has but few cattle and few folk. But at last the tide 
turned with the conversion of Vishtaspa and his 
nobles, and Zarathushtra can concentrate on his 

missionary work among the misguided people who 
would not accept the Reform. His triumph within 
his own lifetime was probably limited to aristocratic 
circles, unless we may believe that he won over the 
farmers and graziers in whose interests he spoke so 
constantly. " The ruder daeva-cult [held] its ground 
among the uncivilised nomad tribes," says Geldner ; 
and as the Yashts abundantly show, the divinities 
included in it were soon installed as angels in 
the Mazdayasna, under sanction of Zarathushtra s 
authority, and with nothing sacrificed except their 
collective name. So hard is it to reform a religion ! 
The gods of polytheism may be cast down to hell ; 
but they need only change their designation to be 
back in heaven again, with a new colleague in the 
very Prophet who had protested so strenuously in his 
lifetime that God is One ! 

From the doctrine of spiritual powers that originate 
and perpetuate evil we turn in due course to ask 
what Zarathushtra understood evil to be. Naturally 
" the Lie " came first. False and degrading views of 
God, and of what God demands from man, were to 
his profound and yet intensely practical mind the 
darkest of sins, because of what they produced. A 
religion that made Truth its centre could not be 
content with requirements touching only the exter 
nals of life. The triad of Thought, Word, Deed is 
perpetual in the Gathas, and holds its own through 
out the history of Zoroastrianism. Darmesteter ( OA 


p. 8 ff.) insisted upon the close parallelism between 
the Avestan triad (humata, hu-^ta, hvarsta] and three 
Vedic terms (sumati, sukta, sukfta}, two of which are 
verbally identical l and all identical in literal meaning, 
"good thought, good word, good deed." Now the 
Vedic words are, as Darmesteter goes on to show, 
purely ceremonial : they mean respectively prayer, 
hymn, and sacrifice. He argues that in the prehistoric 
Aryan their equivalents which were, however, not 
brought into close relation outside the Iranian area 
had a similar liturgical meaning and retained it in the 
Avesta. If it were not for the Gathas, this would be 
fairly plausible : it is at least not incongruous in the 
later Avesta. But the whole atmosphere of their 
author s thought seems alien to any such develop 
ment. It is the association of the three that makes 
them so important, and this is admittedly Iranian, 
and may be safely set down to Zarathushtra, in 
whose use of the triad there is absolutely nothing to 
suggest that it has hardened into mere ritual. What 
are we to make of the antithetic triad of ill thoughts, 
ill words, ill deeds, or the neutral with no qualifica 
tion (manah, vacah, syaoQna] ? We must follow the 
simple and obvious interpretation, and note that 
Zarathushtra made good and evil alike to be functions 
of the three parts of human life. Right thoughts of 
God and duty, right words to comrades in the faith, 
right actions, which meant mostly the zealous per 
formance of a farmer s varied work such were the 
virtues which were destined to give the follower of 
Asha a happy passage over the Bridge of Doom into 

1 Though for this purpose it is not indifferent that sumati and 
humata are in distinct declensions. 


the House of Song. And even so the guilt of heresy, 
lying, or cruel words to the faithful, deeds of oppres 
sion or lust or blood, weighted the scale against the 
soul at judgement. 

I have let fall a phrase the expansion of which 
belongs to my next Lecture ; but there is an application 
of it which is in place here. What provision does 
Zarathushtra make for the annulling of sin ? The 
answer appears to be that there is none, except the 
piling up of a credit balance of good thoughts, words, 
and actions. If a sinner turns from his evil way and 
does what is just and right, he shall save his soul 
alive if he can crowd into the rest of his life merit 
enough to outweigh his sin. 1 And if a righteous man 
falls into evil ways, his future will depend on the time 
he spends in accumulating liabilities. Zarathushtra s 
practical mind was so concentrated on the supreme 
importance of securing right conduct that he did not 
discover the superior importance of character as the 
fount of conduct. But the fact that we can detect 
shortcomings in his system will not blind us to the 
immense step he took when he taught that God 
is pleased not by futile offerings but by practical 
benevolence and a life unspotted by the world. 

Zarathushtra s ideals in ethics and religion can be 
illustrated by an examination of the two adjectives 
which everywhere sum up all that is good. The 
epithet which belongs peculiarly to Mazdah and his 
associate spirits is spanta, usually rendered "holy," 

1 The similar procedure in Persian jurisprudence should be 
recalled : a man accused of a crime was (at least in theory) judged 
by his whole record, and if his merits outweighed his crime he was 
acquitted. See Herodotus i. 137 (p. 397 below). 


and often found in comparative and superlative degree 
(spanyah, spdniSta). It is found in the Gathas applied 
to Mazdah himself, to his Spirit, to Aramaiti, and to 
pious men. In the Haptanghaiti first appears the 
specific title " holy immortals " (amdsa spdnta], which 
became the ordinary name of the Six Spirits of 
Mazdah. The exact connotation of spdnta has been 
a subject of debate. Its historical identity with the 
Lithuanian szvcntas, " holy," cannot be questioned, 
nor the relation of them both to Gothic /mnsl, 
"sacrifice," Old English husel (Shakespeare s un- 
houseled}. But there is believed to be some ground 
from Parsi tradition for regarding " beneficent " as 
nearer the meaning in the Avesta. It may have 
arisen from association with another verb meaning 
" to benefit," l which in its present stem sounds very 
much like it : there is actually a Gathic verse ( Ys 
51 21 , see p. 387) where we find sponto . . . asomspdnvat, 
"a holy man . . . advances Right." Bartholornae, who 
stoutly defends " holy," regards this as an intentional 
paronomasia. I should prefer to think of a popular 
etymology helping to colour the sense of the word. 
But, even apart from this, the tendency of thought 
was strong enough to make the idea of ritual holiness 
or purity pass quickly out of sight in favour of the 
practical and ethical connotation. 2 The antithesis of 
sponta is angra in the notable verse already quoted ; 
and Bartholomae, whom we find inventing a new 
word on occasion to improve an antithesis, 3 ought to 

1 Sav, whence the future participle saosyant. 

2 Dr Casartelli compares the development of a moral meaning 
in French sage, originally only " one who knows." 

3 See Ys 30\ below (p. 34,9 f.). 



appreciate our argument that " holier " and " hostile" 
are not sufficiently in the same plane. His objec 
tion (AirWb., 1621) largely rests on the assumption 
that we cannot accept the meaning " beneficent " 
for the Avestan word without cutting it off from its 
cognates in Lithuanian, Slavonic, and Germanic. I 
do not see that the consequence is necessary : we 
have only to suppose the connotation of an Iranian 
word for " holy " altered towards " beneficent," partly 
by popular etymology, and partly by the practical 
bent of Zarathushtra s mind and teaching. 

I have already dealt with the central conception of 
Asha, " Right," and therefore may only mention here 
the fact that a good man is pre-eminently described 
as asavan, " one who has Asha." The epithet is used 
of the heavenly world as well. The man after Zara 
thushtra s heart is he who holds Truth in thought and 
word and deed, the man of right belief, right speech, 
and right action, in opposition to the "man of the Lie." 
The title is on the same lines as those just suggested for 
" holiness." For all the profundity of Zarathushtra s 
thinking and it is perhaps mainly this which has made 
it hard for a few great scholars to put his date back 
as far as seems necessary he was intensely alive to 
the practical realities of life ; and there was a singular 
absence of the mystical element about his teaching. 
A little more of it might perhaps have helped his re 
ligion to secure a much larger part in human history. 

A more conspicuous absence is that of asceticism, 
which cuts him off strikingly from spiritual kinship 
with India where, by the way, we may well believe 
that our Aryan blood was not responsible for a 
phenomenon safely to be credited to the indigenous 


population. Zarathushtra never dreamed of any 
merit in celibacy. One of his Gathas celebrates the 
wedding of his daughter, and he was himself married 
more than once. The Vendidad was quite in his 
spirit when it declared (4 47 f.) that the married is far 
above the celibate, the man with children above him 
who has none, the man who eats meat above him who 
fasts. We are told how the Sassanian king Ya/dgard 
was indignant at the contrast between the sanity of 
Parsism and the morbid tendencies of a Christianity 
which had largely forgotten the Gospels. 1 No 
speculative Gnosticism in Zarathushtra s dogmatics 
taught the inherent evil of matter. This is the more 
significant in that, as Prof. Soderblom well points 
out, 2 there is a strongly marked dualism of matter 
and spirit visible throughout the Avesta. In the 
Gathas we have "this life here of body and that 
of thought " ( Ys 43 3 ) ; and the antithesis continues 
through the whole series of Parsi scriptures. But we 
find that the division of the world between good and 
evil cuts right across the other division. In the 
Yashts we read of " spiritual and corporeal yazata " ; 
and we find that " Azhi Dahaka is in the corporeal 
world the representative of Angra Mainyu who is by 
nature mainyava, spiritual. " 3 So in the Vendidad 
(8 31 ) we find the question asked : 

Who is absolutely a daeva ? Who is before death a 
daeva ? Who changes after death into a spiritual daeva ? 

(The answer is the human being who has practised 

1 See Darmesteter, SEE, iv. 2 46 n. On the strong anti-ascetic 
tendency in all ages of Parsism see Prof. Soderblom s excellent 
article in ERE, ii. 105 f. 2 Les Fravas/iis, p. 60 f. 

3 Soderblom, op. cit., 6l ; see references in his notes. 


unnatural vice.) The contrast between this and the 
Greek dualism, with its tendency to make the two 
categories coincide, and the Judaic antithesis of the 
present and the future, is of great importance when 
we examine the relations between these independent 
systems of thought. Zarathushtra s position here is, 
of course, most important for his fixing of the rules 
of conduct, as we saw just now. Every creature of 
the Wise Lord was good, and nothing to be rejected : 
that alone was evil which was created by his foe. 

I have used the word " dualism," though, as we 
saw above (p. 125 f.), it is not strictly applicable to 
Zarathushtra s Doctrine of Evil. The optimist out 
look which assured men of the ultimate triumph of 
Good will be the chief subject of the next Lecture. 
Meanwhile we have to go back to the beginning of 
things, and ask how Sin entered the world, bringing 
death and all our woe. One all too brief verse in the 
Gathas tells us of the Fall. It would seem that here 
Zarathushtra made use of an old Iranian folk-story, 
adapting it to his own doctrinal purpose, much as the 
author of the third chapter of Genesis is usually sup 
posed to have done. In Ys 32 s Zarathushtra says : 

To these sinners belonged, tis said, Yima also, son of 
Vivahvant, who, desiring to satisfy mortals, gave our people 
portions of beef to eat. 

Three stanzas before this the Daevas are said to 
have " defrauded men of good life and immortality." 
Yima, the Indian Yama, seems to have been in the 
Aryan period the first man, though in the sagas of 
later Parsism he was apparently deprived of this 
primacy. His own name probably means " twin," and 
he is a " son of the sky," as twins often are in folk- 


lore ; for his father s name (" shining abroad ") is 
clearly a cult-epithet of the bright sky. To render 
his subjects immortal he gave them to eat forbidden 
food, being deceived by the Daevas. Bartholomae 
(AirWb., 1866) quotes Pahlavi tradition that Yima 
made them immortal during his reign by giving them 
flesh. If that is an independent form of an old 
Iranian story, Zarathushtra has significantly brought 
in a moral judgement against an act not reprobated in 
the myth that came to him. To snatch immortality 
before Mazdah s own good time was sin. This is a 
very striking development. It is noteworthy that 
Firdausi makes Yima s sin consist in his pretending 
to be a god. The connexion of this grasping at 
immortality with the eating of forbidden food suggests 
a reference to the belief that at the Regeneration 
Mithra is to make men immortal by giving them to 
eat the fat of the primeval Ox or Cow from whose 
slain body, according to the Aryan myths adopted 
by Mithraism, mankind was first created. The 
Gathic stanzas imply seemingly that the act was one 
of sinful presumption, inspired by the Daevas and 
especially by Mithra himself, if my view of him is 
justified and that the demons who tempted him to 
the act defrauded men of its expected consequence. 
The Later Avesta, which makes Yima s sin consist 
in yielding to lies, describes his punishment as the 
loss of the Kingly Glory. In its three forms those 
of the priest, the warrior, and the labourer it succes 
sively fled from him (Yt 19 34 ff.) in the form of a bird. 

When he saw the Glory vanish, 
Yima Khshaeta, noble shepherd, 
Rushed he round distraught, and smitten 
By his foes on earth he laid him. 


He became a wanderer on the face of the earth, and 
was at last sawn asunder by his wicked brother 
Spityura. The relations between this Fall-story and 
that in Genesis will occupy our attention later. It 
is unfortunate that we have so brief and obscure 
accounts of a doctrine which to all appearance had 
high ethical value. 1 

We must pass on to deal rather succinctly with the 
doctrine of evil found in the Later Avesta, and the 
ethics resulting from it. The purely Iranian stratum 
contributes relatively little. Prof. Otto Schrader 
well remarks 2 that the " heavenly ones " of Indo- 
European religion had less to do with morality than 
the ancestor spirits. They were the Sondergotter of 
spheres far less concerned with human action than 
were the spirits of men s ancestors that always hovered 
within range. We are prepared to believe that the 
deva-daeva worship was on a lower plane morally 
than that of the asura-ahura, which originated in the 
ancestor cult ; and, as we have seen, it is essentially 
the dacvayasna that inspires the Yashts, though the 
name has departed from the yazata who are honoured 
there. The one conspicuous exception to the rule 
is Mithra. The complex question of the origin and 
development of this great yuzata is discussed else 
where. 3 Here I will only point out that the higher 
ethical features of M ithra have been collected in the 
Mithra Yasht so as to present a divinity who might 

1 There are some interesting notes in Darmesteter, LeZA, ii. 624. 
He cites the self-glorification of Yima in the Shahnameh, and he 
gives references for a Talmudic adaptation of the story for King 

2 ERE, ii., art. "Aryan Religion " noted above, p. 74. 

3 See p. 62-67. 


be worshipped even by those who had to a large extent 
absorbed Zarathushtra s teaching. His ethical nobility 
may even have helped the return of his associates, 
none of whom, however, can be said to share it to any 
large extent. Mithra stands for Truth and compact- 
keeping between men. This in the Gathas is in the 
province of Asha ; but we can hardly wonder that so 
shadowy an abstraction was ousted by a splendid 
figure like Mithra, who satisfied the craving of 
humanity for a god that could come within man s 
sphere. The invincible, unsleeping divinity, whom 
none can outwit or escape, will crush the man who 
" breaks a compact " or " tries to deceive Mithra " : 
both these expressions meet in the original miQro-druj, 
which we may spell with large or small initial as we 
please, since miOra is a " compact " as well as the god 
who protects it. This is an element quite in the 
Gathic spirit, heightening our suspicion that in the 
Mithra cult of the A vesta the Iranian priests who 
were not yet the Magi deliberately re-minted the 
gold there was in the old worship, in strong and 
intentional opposition to that crude and barbaric 
mythology which was afterwards to develop into 
Mithraism as we know it. But we must postpone 
speculation. It suffices here to note that the universal 
duty of Truth covers the very heretic an ethical 
advance even on the Gathas. The hymn opens with 
a fine stanza which 1 may repeat here : 1 

Spitama, break not the promise 2 
Made with sinner, made with faithful 
Comrade in thy Law, for Mithra 
Stands for sinner, stands for faithful. 

1 From ERPP, 137, where note other extracts from Yt 10. 

2 MiOrjm. 


The contributions of the Magian stratum to the 
regulation of Parsi conduct are very abundant, but 
they cannot be said to add much of any value to the 
ethics of the Gathas, while they unmistakably do not 
a little to spoil their high ideal. As so often happens 
when the prophets of a religion give place to priests, 
the outward and ritual side of it is exaggerated till 
all perspective is lost. We have in the Vendidad 
passage after passage where sins are catalogued with 
their appropriate penalties, and we marvel at the 
triviality of those that get the hardest measure. It 
is a most deadly thing if a man who cuts his hair or 
nails does not properly dispose of the cuttings or 
parings. 1 To kill a water-dog (otter) deserves ten 
thousand stripes, apparently repeated with two 
instruments, though the point is hardly of practical 
moment ; and if the sinner survives he is to offer ten 
thousand libations, kill ten thousand land-frogs, and 
do sundry other acts of righteousness which would 
absorb quite a large proportion of his time. Offences 
against ritual and against moral purity are treated as of 
about equal seriousness. Against this we have the fact 
that, in however vague and onesided a way, the makers 
of the Vendidad did realise the possibility of repentance, 
atonement, and remission. Dastur Dhalla s account 
of the Parsi provision for expiation and atonement 2 
shows clearly enough that the very idea of it does not 
belong to the " Early Zoroastrianism " with which I 
am concerned : it starts with the latest Avestan texts 

1 A very interesting and primitive tabu, for which cf. J. G. Frazer, 
Golden Bough 3 , i. 57, etc. These cuttings were capable of being used 
against their former owner so as to cause him grievous harm. 

2 ERE, v. 664-6. 


and only becomes systematic in Sassanian Parsism. 1 
As elsewhere stated (p. 144), the only remedy for 
sins was overweighting them with merit. The 
Magian insistence on ritual purity included the stern 
denunciation of most forms of sexual vice, though 
we naturally take their emphasis on the next-of-kin 
marriage as a serious offset. They inculcated industry 
with excellent decisiveness. The demon of Sloth, 
called by the expressive name "Going-to-be," 2 is to 
be vigorously abjured when she keeps men abed in 
the morning. Cruelty to animals of Ahura s creation 
is denounced through a whole gamut of possible 
variations. Alms-giving to the faithful is a supremely 
great virtue, as Parsis have well shown in practice to 
this day. It is a pity that so many good things 
should be overweighted and pushed out of sight by 
tiresome and foolish ritual, sometimes nothing less 
than disgusting that prayer should harden into 
mechanical repetition of formulae that the Gathas 
themselves, still chanted in a dialect obsolete for ages, 
should have sunk into mere spells, the exact pro 
nunciation of their words achieving what their author 
sought by pure life and diligence in an honourable 
calling. But, after all, it is the line on which all 
religions begin the downward way, and Parsism 
never lost the upward look and the striving for 
better things. 

1 A hint of pardon in another life may be seen in Ys 5 1 4 : see 
note there. 

2 Busyasta, derived from the future participle of the verb "to be." 



Each man s work shall be made manifest ; for the 
Day shall declare it, because it is revealed in Fire. 
And the Fire itself shall prove each man s work of 
what sort it is. PAUL. 

THE later stages of thought in Israel before the rise 
of Christianity were before all things characterised 
by the growth of apocalyptic. The line of distinction 
between apocalypse and prophecy is fairly definite. 
Prophecy is concerned with the will of God for the 
present and the immediate future. In apocalypse 
the future contemplated belongs to another order. 
This present world inspires too little hope for the 
kindling of high religious enthusiasm ; and the faith 
of men who fervently believe in the omnipotence and 
the perfect justice of God comforts itself by the 
assurance of a theodicy beyond the veil that only 
death can draw aside. Israel s, however, was not the 
earliest literature to develop apocalyptic. Without 
attempting to discuss any views as to the actual 
contact of two systems of thought and the influence 
of one upon the other, we may note the fact that 
centuries before the earliest Jewish writings of this 
kind Zarathushtra was expressing in difficult but 
quite unmistakable language the conceptions I have 



described. Pictorial representation of a future soon 
to be realised, though not in this world, supplied for 
him constantly the inspiration of his appeal to men 
that they should choose the Right and resist the Lie, 
for so it would be well with them when at last the 
justice of God won its final triumph. 

For thus we must begin, linking on the subject of 
this Lecture with the last. I showed that if Zara- 
thushtra s doctrine of evil is fairly called dualistic at 
all, it is only so for the present seon : when time has 
run its appointed course the powers of darkness will 
be broken, and broken for ever. " The Kingdom 
will come, and the omnipotence of Right will be 
established, no more to be challenged. We should 
note, however, that the reward of righteousness is not 
put off wholly to the other side of death. There is a 
quaint stanza in which the Prophet asks Ahura 
whether in this life he will attain the reward, " ten 
mares, a stallion, and a camel," besides Salvation and 
Immortality in the life to come. For, as he goes on to 
declare, a man who refuses to give a promised reward 
to one who has earned it will merit punishment here, 
as well as hereafter ( Ys 44 18 ). Similarly he promises 
( Ys 46 19 ) a pair of cows in calf to him who deserves 
the Future Life. We may probably also interpret 
on the same line the declaration in Ys 34 14 that the 
reward of " the wisdom that exalts communities " 
shall be given by the Ahuras " to the bodily life" of the 
pastoral folk. But the grim facts of this world drove 
Zarathushtra to rely mainly on the Future, however 
wistfully he may pray for some earnest of that Future 
here and now. Nothing but a great theodicy, to 
come in God s good time, will adequately compensate 


the peaceful and pious herdsman for all that he has 
to suffer in the present from savage raids of daeva- 
yasna. We may take it as fairly clear that the line 
along which Zarathushtra came to his conception of 
a better world was that of a powerful conviction of 
the justice of God. With " Right " at the centre of 
his doctrine of the Divine, he could not be content 
with a world in which Wrong seemed for ever on 
the throne. God is " Lord " and God is " Wise," 
omnipotent and omniscient, and He can never be 
foiled at the last so that the Right Order succumbs 
to " the Lie." Hence, with conditions of suffering 
and wrong all round him, Zarathushtra is impelled 
to moralise the conditions of another world, and 
teach that there the balance will be redressed, the 
righteous made happy at last, and the violent man 
finally destroyed. 

I must recur in my last Lecture to the importance 
of recognising the forces which seem to have led the 
Iranian Prophet to his picture of justice triumphant 
in another world earliest of all teachers of mankind 
to bear this witness of God. For the present I must 
keep to the beaten track, and delineate the details of 
his eschatological system. The hope of the good man 
is concentrated essentially on the coming of the 
Kingdom (x^ctQra}, which like the other members of 
the great Hexad is a part of the very being of God. 
The epithet vairya, "to be desired," which became a 
fixed element in the later name of this Amshaspand, 
crystallises appropriately the attitude of Zarathushtra 
and his faithful followers towards the great con 
summation upon which all their longing was fixed. 
According to Prof. Jackson s highly probable con- 


jecture, the special association of the " Kingdom " 
with metals arose from the ayah -^susta, the flood of 
molten metal which is to be poured forth at the last. 
The righteous so the later apocalyptists put it 
would pass through the flood as through warm milk, 
but Ahriman and all who were "of his portion" 1 
would be consumed. It does not appear, however, 
that in Zarathushtra s own thought the annihilation 
of evil and evil beings was contemplated. For him 
the " House of the Lie " is to be the permanent abode 
of those who choose here to follow the Lie. It is 
only in later Parsism that, after the purifying flood 
has passed through the world, 

Hell itself will pass away, 
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day. 

Of course we might legitimately conjecture that 
here the later eschatology has borrowed from lost 
Gathas. Zarathushtra is not in the least bound 
to have been rigidly consistent no eschatological 
system ever was or could be consistent and logical. 
He may very easily have portrayed at one time 
the wicked destroyed by the molten flood, and the 
dreary realm of Ahriman purified and added to 
the Good Creation ; and at another, without any 
real inconsistency, have declared that the punish 
ment of sin would be eternal. In the nature of 
things both annihilation and eternal punishment 
would be symbols of profound truths on which the 
emphasis is laid successively without an attempt to 
reconcile them. And so would be the third con 
ceivable hypothesis, that evil only was destroyed and 
evil beings saved as through fire. But how far the 
1 Wisdom 2. See Bd SO 20 (SEE, v. 126). 


Prophet himself wrestled with this problem we have 
no material for deciding. 1 

Before we turn to the future of the individual, we 
must deal with Zarathushtra s picture of the world 
as it shall be. The " Consummation " 2 of the Gathas 
involves a "Renovation of the World," 3 a divine 
event towards which the whole creation is moving. 
It is accomplished by the present labours of "those 
that will deliver," the saosyanto* In the Gathas these 
are simply Zarathushtra himself and his fellow- 
workers, whom the Prophet s faith pictures as as 
suredly leading on an immediate regeneration. The 
superb conviction with which he anticipates that very 
soon he himself will attend his faithful followers into 
the presence of God is characteristic of his whole 

1 It is on these lines that I should deal with Prof. Soderblom s 
argument (La Fie Future, p. 243), that the idea of the ayah ysusta, as 
an old Indo-European mythus paralleled in Norse and Greek saga, 
implies the purification and renewal of the world, so that there is 
no room for an endless hell. But, unless I am very much astray in 
my whole argument, Zarathushtra was little disposed to bind himself 
to ancient mythology. He took it over when it offered symbolism 
he could use, as we see from the case of the Bridge and the weigh 
ing of souls. But he was always ready to give it a totally new 
meaning. It is thus that I understand the figure of Cinvant, as 
Zarathushtra s own addition to the old idea of the Bridge. Some 
thing like this, I imagine, took place with the " Molten Metal." 
Zarathushtra kept the idea, but there was no necessity for him to 
interpret the myth in any stereotyped fashion. He is so positive 
and so often insistent on the everlasting torment of the dragvato, 
that the mere fact of an earlier meaning for the ayah ^susta taken 
up again in post-Zarathushtrian ages, as so often happens proves 
little against it. I am half inclined to conjecture that the Metal 
was for him an ordeal, whereby the Separator did his work. 

2 Yah, with or without the epithet maz or mazista, "great(est)." 

3 fraso-karati : the abstract is post-Gathic. For the verb cf. Ys SO 9 . 

4 Future participle of sav, "benefit" : cf. p. 145. 


tone in proclaiming future destiny. Violence and 
wrong may hold carnival around him now ; but never 
does his eye lose the vision of a new heaven and a 
new earth in which Right shall dwell for evermore. 
It only enhances the picture when we note the very 
human wistfulness with which he asks whether the 
men of Right will not win their victory before then 
(K? 48 2 ). In any case the time is not to be long. 
He hears Mazdah bid him speed his work, for soon 
the end is coming and the awards of Right will be 
dealt out to good men and evil (Ys 43 12 ). 

Zarathushtra was not destined to see in this life 
the fulfilment of his great hope. We may digress 
for a moment to notice what happened to his doctrine 
generations after his death, when his glowing promises 
seemed to be mocked by the continuance of the 
present evil world. The successors of Zarathushtra 
did not abandon the conception of Saoshyant, nor 
detach him from the great teacher who had taught 
them to hope. The very name Saoshyant contained 
the idea of futurity ; and in the true spirit of their 
founder they prepared themselves to wait for one who 
was yet to come. A mythical symbol was developed 
by which the future deliverer 1 was regarded as the 

1 His name was Astvat-drdta, " incarnate Right " : Bartholomae 
(AirJVb, 215) compares Ys 43 16 astvai assm fiyat. (It should be 
remembered that 3rata is really the same as asa, being indeed 
closer to the Aryan original of the Vedic rta.} This forms 
a climax after his two precursors, " Increaser of Right" and 
"Increaser of Worship." The name fell out of use ultimately in 
favour of the title saoxyant. Cf. Sb derblom, La Vie Future, 252 : I 
prefer Bartholomae s interpretation, as restoring symmetry. As 
Soderblom himself says, the fact that his own rendering (" he 
who restores the body") is found in Yt 13 129 does not prove that 
it is right, 


Prophet s true seed, though only to be born ages 
after he passed away. But in essentials the eschat- 
ology was unchanged. 

From the rather vague and general pictures of a 
renovated world we turn to the much more precise 
promises and warnings which Zarathushtra has for 
the individual. The diligent and peaceful husband 
man is to find comfort under oppression in the cer 
tainty of a blessed future ( Ys 28 5 ) ; and even the 
" robber horde " may be converted to the religion by 
this message. He calls his gospel a manthra, an old 
Aryan word which had always had the suggestion of 
inspiration about it. Later ages, in India and Iran 
alike, saw it degenerate into a spell ; but Zarathushtra 
knows no magic he will only try to convince men 
by the reasonableness of a message which he knows 
to be from God. He seems to have taught though 
the Gathic texts are far from explicit here that the 
merits of the Ashavan were being faithfully recorded 
day by day, to be brought out at the Last Day. 
Bartholomae s statement of this teaching may be 
quoted (AirWb, 702) :- 

The victory of the world of Ahura over that of the Daevas 
is secured by the preponderance of good works over evil at 
the last account : the promised reward is secured for the 
individual by the preponderance of good in his own persona] 
reckoning. Zarathushtra as "Overlord" (ahu) takes care 
that none of the faithful man s good works shall be lost, 
but entered in the account to his credit, and treasured uf 
in Ahura s " House."" As " Judge " (ratu) he accomplisl^ 
the final enfeebling of the world of the Druj, and the fina 
dominion of Ahura Mazdah. 

He finds the same teaching in the Ahuna Vairyc 
(Ys 27 13 ), the great creed of Parsism, composed afte: 


Zarathushtra s day, but at so early a date that the 
key to its meaning seems to have been mostly lost. 
We may thus render it, after Bartholomae : l 

Even as he (Zarathushtra) is the Lord for us to choose, 
so is he the Judge, according to the Right, he that bringeth 
the life-works of Good Thought unto Mazdah, and (so) the 
Dominion unto Ahura, even he whom they made shepherd 

for the poor. 2 

On this reading of the creed we see the Prophet 
marked out by Asha, the Right Order of things, to 
take command of this life* and then at the last to 
present before God the merits of his faithful followers : 
Vohu Manah has a practically collective significance, 
as often. This final work will bring the complete 

1 See his elaborate defence of it in Zum AirWb, 126-133, where 
he gives Geldner s translation and his own in parallel columns 
and discusses differences between them. Geldner s investigation 

11 (Studien, 1882, p. 144 ff.) laid the foundation of an intelligible 
dei explanation of this profoundly difficult text. I should add that 
\oy Dr Casartelli is not satisfied that the ahu is Zarathushtra and not 


, Mazdah. 

2 It will be advisable to quote Bartholomae s own words, as I 
have reproduced him rather freely : I add Geldner s version for 
comparison : 

\\ || Bartholomae : 

Wie der beste Oberherr, so der (beste) Richter ist er 
(namlich ZaraOustra) gemass dem heiligen Recht, der des 
guten Sinnes Lebenswerke dem Mazdah zubringt, und (so) 
die Obergewalt dem Ahura, er (ZaraOustra}, den sie den 
Armen als Hirten bestellt haben. 
Geldner : 

Wie er der auserwahlte Regent, so wurde er von Asa 
selbst aus als Lehrer der Welt in den Werken des Vohumano 
(der guten Gesinnung) bestellt fur Mazda. Und die Herr- 
schaft gehort dem Ahura, der den Hilfsbedurftigen einen 
f Hirten bestellte. 


:!i ; 


victory over Evil, the coming of the Kingdom of 
God. In the light of this future climax of his work 
we are to contemplate his preparatory functions in 
earthly life as " shepherd of the poor," the oppressed 
husbandmen whose virtues are at last to win Ahura 
Mazdah s reward. 

Pahlavi books depict a treasure-house (ganj) where 
works of supererogation were stored for the benefit 
of those whose credit was inadequate. The idea 
makes the genuinely Iranian Hamistakdn impossible 
we are coming to this doctrine presently. It 
cannot be original, though the treasury in heaven, 
where merit is safely stored against the Judgement, 
is a thoroughly Gathic conception ; compare Ys 43 2 , 
and the statement on p. 160. 

In close agreement with this lofty ethic is the 
thought on which the Gathas lay great stress, that 
the man s own Self (daena) is the real determiner of 
his eternal destiny. The ego of the Liars will bring 
them to hell by their own actions ; their soul and 
their ego will distress them ( Ys 3 1 20 , 46 11 ). It is very 
suggestive that Zarathushtra tacitly ignores the part 
of the human personality which popular belief would 
have chosen for guardian on the way to paradise. A 
genius like the Fravashi, which was, so to speak, good 
ex officio, was not good enough for him. 1 The Self, 
which became fairer or fouler with every thought, 
word, or action of the man who owned it, was a fitter 
guardian angel or attendant fiend. The exquisite 

1 The special discussion of the Fravashi doctrine below (Lecture 
VIII.) deals with the reason why these spirits were only associated 
with the righteous ; see pp. 257-9. There is also a note on the 
relation between the two (?) words dacna. 


fragment of the Hadhokht Nask, generally known as 
Yasht 22, works out this idea entirely in the spirit of 
the Gathas. 1 

We have seen how two constituent elements 2 of 
human personality, the urvan and the daend, fared at 
death. What about the body ? Among the Persians, 
it was buried, and covered with wax, 3 which implied a 
desire to preserve it, very different from the impli 
cation of the Magian dakhma. According to the 
Later A vesta and the Pahlavi writers to quote Prof. 
Jackson s summary 4 : 

The physical constituents of the gaeQa which enter into 
combination at birth and go into dissolution at death are 
(1) tamt, or the entire body with its various anatomical 
portions ; (2) ast, the bones or frame ; (3) gaya or ustana, 
life, vitality, which is lost at death ( Vd 5 9 ). Although the 
corporeal body is resolved into its elements at death, the 
form (T&hrpi tanu) is once more renewed at the Resurrection 
(Yt 13 61 , Fragm. 4 3 ) ; and the individual assumes the new 
body of the hereafter (Pahl. tanu I pasln) at the rejuven 
escence or renewal of the world (frasofordti). 

The teaching of the Gathas on the resurrection 
of the body is deduced by Prof. Jackson from Ys 
30 7 , where Aramaiti, who presides over the earth, 
gives " continued life of their bodies, and inde- 

1 A free verse paraphrase of this text, so far as it affects the 
passing of the righteous soul, will be found in my ERPP, at the 
end : sundry other features of Parsi eschatology are woven in. 
Bishop Casartelli has also put " Yt 22 " into English verse, keep 
ing closer to the text : see his Leaves from my Eastern Garden 
(Market Weighton, 1908). 

2 On the five spiritual constituents of man, found in the Yasht 
of the Fravashis, see below, p. 256 f. 

3 On this statement see below, p. 202 f., and the note on 
Herodotus, i. 140, p. 398. 

4 Grundriss, ii. 674. 


structibility." Since the bodies sleep in her bosom, 
her bestowal of a(pdapa-ia upon them accords well 
with the character of a genius who cannot con 
sistently be associated with corruption. If so, we 
see opposite deductions from the purity of Earth. 
The Magi refuse to pollute her with the touch of 
a dead body. Zarathushtra accounts her to be so 
charged with life that she gives renewal of life to 
the corpse that is within her. Only, he does not 
allow this life-giving power to the material earth, 
but to the exalted Spirit, a very part of the Creator s 
being, which watches over the earth He made. 1 

In this idea, accordingly, we find Zarathushtra 
making use of material drawn from the old nature- 
worship, and adapting it to spiritual use. A more 
conspicuous example of this practice is found at 
the next step in the journey of the disembodied 
soul. Cinvato p9rotu, the Bridge of the Separater, 
is mentioned three times in the Gathas, 2 and often 
in the Later Avesta, generally as one word, cinvat- 
pzratu, as is natural when it has become a technical 
term. We have detailed descriptions of it in our 
later authorities, summarised thus by Bartholomae 
(AirWb, 597):- 

1 Prof. Soderblom s discussion (La Vie Future, 242) is prior to 
Prof. Jackson s treatment of the Gathic text, and must be modified 
in the light of it. He cites de Harlez for the view that even in 
Yt 1 9 89 resurrection is spiritual, and that Pahlavi theology first in 
troduced the notion of a resurrectio carnis. He himself thinks that 
" the resurrection may well have formed part of the theology of the 
priests of the Gathas, though in the fragments of Gathic literature 
that have come down to us they had no occasion to speak of it " 
except once, as Prof. Jackson enables us to say, or even twice, as 
Ys 48 6 suggests (see note). 2 Ys 5 1 13 , 46 10 11 . 


According to Middle Persian books, it goes from the 
foot of Harburz 1 on the north to its southern ridge. 
Underneath the middle of it, which rests on the " Mount 
of Judgement " (cikat ~t daittk), lies hell. For the righteous 
it appears to be 9 spears 1 or 27 arrows 1 length across, but 
for the godless man as narrow as a razor s edge, so that 
he falls into hell. [A number of references follow.] 

This picturesque fancy was borrowed by Islam : com 
pare Byron s lines, 

Though on Al-Sii at s arch I stood, 
That topples o er the fiery flood, 
With Paradise within my view, 
And all its Houris beckoning through. 

(But Zarathushtra s Paradise had no houris !) There 
is no reason to question the antiquity of this de 
scription of the Bridge, though it comes to us 
from late authorities. It is, indeed, likely enough 
that the germ of it was older even than the 
Aryan period. There was in Northern mythology 
a bridge, guarded by a maiden, which led to the 
home of the dead. 2 It may have owed its origin 
to the rainbow, or more probably to the Milky 
Way. However this may be, Zarathushtra evi 
dently concerned himself little enough with the 
working out of the myth. We trace the hall 
mark of his thought in the name, which represents 
the only part of the idea he cared to retain. As 
Soderblom acutely points out, 3 the test of the 
Bridge is not ethical : it comes down from a time 

1 Modern Persian Alburz, a mythical mountain in the A vesta, 
Hard bardzaiti. 

2 So Prof. H. M. Chadwick in a letter to me : he thinks there is 
affinity with cinvato p3nlu. See other parallels in Soderblom, Les 
Fravashis, 70 f. 

3 Les Fravashis, 70, following de Harlez. 


when vigour and agility which could get over a 
tight-rope without turning dizzy were qualities for 
admission into Paradise. Zarathushtra had no use 
for Blondins, any more than for houris, in his 
Paradise ; and in retaining the Bridge from the 
popular belief he added a judgement which the soul 
had to undergo before passing over. Of course, 
this made the Bridge superfluous, but it also made 
it a harmless conception : l given the new ethical 
figure of the "Separater" (Cinvant), the Bridge to 
which he admitted might be retained. In Ys 32 15 
we read how the righteous, whom the sinful com 
munity will not have to rule over them, shall be 
" borne away from them to the dwelling of Good 
Thought." This is the separation on which the 
Gathas insist so strongly. Who is the Cinvant ? 
The answer seems to be supplied decisively by 
Ys 46 17 :- 

Where [in Paradise], O Jamaspa Hvogva, I will recount 
your wrongs . . . before him who shall separate (vicinaot) 
the wise and the unwise through Right, his prudent 
counsellor, even Mazdah Ahura. 

Minor differences between the translators here, re 
ferred to in the note, do not affect the certain 
inference ; and that God should be the Judge of 
all is what we should expect. But Mazdah is 
not alone at the Bridge, though his function there 
is supreme. Zarathushtra himself will be there : as 
he declares in the same hymn (Ys 46 10 ), he will 

1 Cf. Boklen, Pars. Esch., 26 : "Sie ist offenbar ein mythologisches 
Stuck, das die Gathaverfasser iibernommen haben und das fur sie 
nur insoweit Interesse hatte, als sich geistige Vorstellungen damit 
verkniipfen liess." 


plead for his followers as their advocate and then 
accompany them as their guide. There is also 
Rashnu, the abstraction of Justice, called razixta, 
"most just," in the Later Avesta, where he first 
appears as the yazata charged with the weighing 
of the merits and demerits of men before the 
Bridge. He is specially associated with Mithra 
and Sraosha, the latter of whom is a Gathic figure. 
Moreover, the fact that he has only a late and 
perfunctory Yasht addressed to him rather takes 
him out of the category of the Yazatas of the un- 
reformed Iranian religion the Daevas in the older 
sense, as we saw above (p. 137 f.) : his entirely 
abstract character goes the same way. Since his 
functions are very limited, and are only named in a 
few places in the Gathas, it is perhaps not strange 
that Sraosha, who stands essentially on the same 
footing, should appear frequently and Rashnu not 
at all. But it is equally possible that Rashnu is a 
later impersonation, conceived in the true spirit of 
Zarathushtra s system, but after the Gathic canon 
was closed. 1 

Putting Rashnu, then, aside, as at least unprov- 
able for the period of Zarathushtra, we should add 
a few points as to the function of the Prophet 
himself in the Judgement. I spoke of him just 
now as his followers " Advocate " before Mazdah 
(F* 46 17 ), and their " Guide" across the Bridge (ib. 10 ). 
But there is a suggestion of more exalted function 
yet. In Ys 34 1 , at any rate according to the natural 

1 Tiele (Religionsgesch., 210) would see Greek influence in the 
later triad of Judges Mithra, Sraosha, and Rashnu. I greatly 
doubt it. 


rendering of the existing text, Zarathushtra declares 
he " will give Immortality and Right and the Do 
minion of Welfare " in Mazdah s name : see the note 
there. And in the supremely sacred Ahuna Vairya 
formula, which cannot be much later than the Gathic 
period, we have seen that Zarathushtra is declared 
to be both ahu and ratu, lord of men s belief and 
conduct here, and ultimate judge, to present the 
fruits of his religion before Mazdah. That he will 
be ratu Mazdah being ahu at the Resurrection is 
to be gathered also from Ys 33 1 and 3 1 2 , the latter 
of which passages is quite precise. It would seem 
that Zarathushtra regards himself as filling in the 
corporeal world the place that Mazdah fills in the 
spiritual, by virtue of his unquestioning conviction 
that Mazdah has inspired him to know the truth. 
His work in the world then is to produce a like 
conviction in the minds of other men, and by this 
to reform human life as a whole. As already stated, 
the ultimate victory of the Good or in technical 
language the " Dominion of Ahura Mazdah " 
depends on the final preponderance of good 
thoughts, words, and deeds over evil in the world 
as a whole. By persuading men to " Obedience," 
accordingly, Zarathushtra " brings the Dominion to 
Mazdah." If he judges men on their life record, it is 
as preacher of a revelation which they have accepted 
or rejected : " the word that I spoke," he might say, 
"it shall judge him at the Last Day." There is 
nothing in the least incongruous or self-assertive in 
the Prophet s claim, and certainly nothing to prompt 
any inference that sentences in which it is made could 
not have come from his own lips. 


It may be noted, by the way, that any difficulty 
which might have been felt as to the apparent 
coincidence of function between Mazdah and Zara- 
thushtra at the Judgement is discounted further by 
the appearance of other names yet. In Ys 43 12 
Sraosha comes as angel of judgement as in the 
Later A vesta 

followed by treasure-laden Destiny (Asi\ who shall render 
to men severally the destinies of the twofold award. 

So here, as in many other places, Mazdah s attributes, 
described as his fellow- A huras, perform a function 
belonging essentially to God in His unity of nature. 
This is of course sharply differentiated from the 
sense in which the human teacher acts as judge, as 
the stanza just cited will itself show when examined 
as a whole. 

Two or three other points may be referred to in 
connexion with the concept of Judgement. A strik 
ing anthropomorphic phrase appears in Ys 34*, where 
the separation of " faithful " and " hostile " is made 
by "the pointings of the hand." If Ys 43 4 (q.v.) refers 
to the same idea, the hand will be that of Mazdah. 
Reserving for the present some consequences of the 
central doctrine of the weighing of men s merits and 
demerits, we may take up the question of the in 
dividual judgement, as contrasted with the general. 
In his review of Stave s book on the influence of 
Parsism on Judaism, 1 Prof. Soderblom seems to 
doubt the emergence of this doctrine as early as the 
Gathic period. I cannot but feel that this goes rather 
too far. The figure of the Separater contains every- 

1 Rev. de I histoire des religions, xl. 266 ff. 


thing essential in the later doctrine of judges who 
wait by the Bridge ; and 1 should hold rather em 
phatically that the Judgement is Zarathushtra s own 
addition to the eschatological picture. The weighing 
is no doubt an old Iranian idea. It coincides re 
markably with the principle of Persian jurisprudence, 
whereby an accused man was supposed to be judged 
on his whole record, and a balance of merits might 
cancel the offence with which he was charged. And 
if we are right in recognising Hamistakdn in two 
passages of the Gathas on which see p. 174 f. 
it seems essential that we should accept the doctrine 
of judgement in this form as an integral part of 
Zarathushtra s own system. 

From the Bridge the soul of the good man passes 
into Paradise according to the Later A vesta through 
the three heavens of good thought, good word, and 
good deed. The Gathic name Gar 6 ddmana means 
" House of Praise " * : garo answers phonetically to 
the Sanskrit giras, genitive of gih, and there seems 
no reason for trying some other equation. Soderblom 
well compares the fine phrase in Psalm 22 4 . The 
name is kept up in the Later Avesta (garonmana) 
and in Pahlavi, but its implication is nowhere brought 
out. If Soderblom s parallel from the Rgveda (x. 
135 7 ) is more than accidental songs and flute are 
heard in Yama s heaven 2 we should suppose that 
Zarathushtra took over this name of heaven from 

1 Soderblom (La Vie Future, 98) makes rmn gaire in Ys 28 4 an 
equivalent. This is supported by the Pahlavi tradition and 
Neriosengh (see Mills, Gathas, 8 f.) ; but it is difficult to get it out of 
the text. See the translation below (p. 345), and AirWb, 514. 

2 Girbhih pariskrtah shows in fact the same word. 


Aryan antiquity, and did not lay enough stress on 
it to give us any expansion of the idea. Whether this 
be so or not, he seems to have created terms of his own 
which were more in accord with his trend of thought. 1 
He likes to dwell on the word "best" (vahitia), 
which ultimately survived all other names for heaven : 
it may be read in the new Manichsean fragments 
from Turfan, and in Modern Persian still. The name 
of the Amshaspand Voliu or Vahistam Mano describes 
the paradise where the Best Thought dwells. 2 It 
seems fair to claim that Zarathushtra anticipated 
Marlowe and Milton in the great doctrine that 

The mind is its own place, and in itself 
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. 

Sometimes we find " the House of Good Thought " 
(F* 30 10 al], "the Kingdom of Good Thought" 
(Fs33 6 ), "the Kingdom of blessings" (Ys 28 9 ), "the 
Pasture of Good Thought" (Ys 33 3 ), "the glorious 
heritage of Good Thought " ( Ys 53 4 ) ; and we are 
told in a fine sentence that the way to it is on 
"the road of Good Thought, built by Right, on 
which the Selves of the Future Deliverers shall go to 
the reward " ( F? 34 13 ). The language used is not 
quite free from metaphor. The poet longs to " see 

1 Soderblom, following Darmesteter, would add one to the list 
which I do not venture to give except in a footnote. In Ys 46 16 , 
varsdamqm was read by the Pahlavi glossator as a compound of vary 
and dama ; and Darmesteter rendered duly " Dans la demeure des 
vceux combles." Bartholomae (Idg. Forsch., x. 10) says the Pahlavi 
is only an " etymologische Spielerei/ which the French savant has 
taken au grand serieux. He himself makes it an infinitive (Skt 
vardhmari): Geldner renders "in seiner Herrlichkeit." I confess 
I rather like the Spielerei, and sympathise with Soderblom. See 
La Vie Future, 99, and my note on Ys 4-6 I.e. 

2 See below, p. 349, note on F* SO 4 . 


Right and Good Thought, the throne of mightiest 
Ahura and the Obedience (sraosdm] of Mazdah" (Ys 
28 5 ). But there clearly cannot be any approach to a 
spatial conception of the place where the Wise Lord 
is throned, when " Obedience to Mazdah " comes as 
its correlative in the next line. Perhaps the nearest 
approach to localising the Paradise is in Ys 30 1 
" the felicity that is with the heavenly lights, which 
through Right shall be beheld by him that wisely 
thinks." But we need not stay to show that this 
involves no more real localising than when we speak 
of " heaven " as the abode of the blessed. The Later 
Avesta made more of this when it stereotyped the 
phrase anayra raoccl, "the Lights without begin 
ning." Yet there too the commoner terms for heaven 
and hell are vahisto and acisto avhus, " the Best," " the 
Worst Existence." The Gathic names for hell are 
of the same mintage. It is the House of the Lie 
(Druj), and of Worst Thought, the Home of the 
Daevas, the Worst Existence, and the like. Remorse 
is the sharpest of the pangs of hell : whoever went on 
the downward path, 

his own thoughts, along that rugged way, 
Pursued, like raging hounds, their father and their prey. 

But there are more symbols employed here. Hell 
is full of darkness, sad voices, stench, foul food, and 
cold. It would seem that the conception of it sprang 
from the privations of winter on the steppes during 
the migration southward, when the preciousness of 
the house-fire made Atar the very symbol of all that 
was best for man. For the Iranian, hell and the 
demons were always in the north. The idea of 
darkness is the distinguishing feature of the House 


of the Lie. It is worked out in the later fancy which 
conceives the damned so close together that they 
seemed an indistinguishable mass ; yet in the dark 
ness each ever wails, " I am alone ! " The symbolism 
of Fire was kept out of this eschatology for obvious 
reasons. It was left to the imagination of Milton to 
combine the symbols : 

A dungeon horrible on all sides round 

As one great furnace flamed, yet from those flames 

No light, but rather darkness visible. 

The picture is quite in the spirit of the Gathas. 
The basis of the darkness motive was very likely 
Aryan. In the Rgveda (vii. 104 3 ) hell is a place of 
darkness in the depths of the earth. We have seen 
already (p. 128 f.) how the evil spirit was imagined 
before Zarathushtra to dwell below as "the god 
underground," in the phrase of Herodotus. The 
Prophet, then, is using again imagery made ready for 
him. But as usual he takes care to stamp it with 
his own hallmark, and make it clear that imagery is 
only meant to impress ideas that are wholly of the 

If ideas of space are left intentionally vague, we 
soon find that those of time are defined with vivid 
clearness. There are three different phrases to 
indicate the duration of future reward and punish 
ment. A typical passage is Ys 45 7 . 

He whose awards, whereof he ordains, men shall attain 
whoso are living or have been or shall be. In eternity 
(amsratait i) shall the soul (urva) of the righteous be 
happy, in perpetuity (utayTita) the torments of the men of 
the Lie. All this doth Mazdah Ahura appoint by his 


Here of course we might render " in immortality " ; 
but in Ys 48 1 we read : 

That which was long since foretold shall be dealt out in 
eternity to demons and to men. 

Am9r9tat is capable therefore of meaning simply 
endless existence. The phrase yavoi vispai, "to all 
time," is unmistakable in Ys 46 11 , where it is said 
of the Karapans and Kavis (pp. 140, 157) : 

Their own soul and their own Self shall torment them 
when they come to the Bridge of the Separator. To all 
time will they be guests for the House of the Lie. 

The same phrase is used of the happiness of the 
righteous. In the light of these two expressions we 
can hardly doubt that daraga, "long," means "eternal" 
in this connexion. In Ys 30 11 " long punishment," and 
31 20 " the future long age of misery, of darkness, ill 
food, and crying of woe," are as clearly endless as in 
33 5 is the " long life " of him who treads " the straight 
ways unto Right, wherein Mazdah Ahura dwells." 
Utayuiti, " perpetuity," is another word used of both 
states : see Ys 45 7 , just quoted, and 33 8 . 

The future of the righteous and of the wicked is 
accordingly marked out clearly enough, and the 
contrast is as that of noon and midnight. So 
reasonable and practical a thinker was not likely to 
overlook the fact that a large proportion of men will 
not easily fall into classes between which there is 
a great gulf fixed. Since provision was admittedly 
made for this in later Parsism, the presumption is 
in favour of the expectation that Zarathushtra would 
not omit to deal with it. And there are two Gathic 
passages where the recognition of the Limbo doctrine 


seems to suit the language and the context better 
than anything else. I quote them after Bartholomae, 
to whom belongs the credit of having first found 
the key : l 

According as it is with those laws that belong to the 
present life, so shall the Judge act with most just deed 
towards the man of the Lie and the man of the Right, 
and him whose false things and good things balance 
( Ys 33 1 : see notes on the passage, p. 358). 

Zarathushtra is himself the Ratu (Judge) here, 
though he does not expressly make the claim. Less 
certain, but with a high degree of probability, is the 
reference in Ys 48 4 : 

He who makes his thought now better now worse, and 
even so his Self by deed and word, who follows his own 
inclinations, desires, and choices, his place shall be separate 
according to thy judgement at the last. 

The " separate place " here is made explicit in the 
Later Avestan misva gatu, "place of the mixed." 
It was said to extend from the earth to the stars- 
was this large allowance intended to suggest that 

1 Prof. Bartholomae draws my attention to an oversight of mine 
in ERPP, 98, by which I assigned the Priorit dt to Roth. As a 
matter of fact, Roth s well-known paper in ZDMG, xxxvii. 223-9, 
was two years after that of Bartholomae in the same journal (1881), 
and was written to controvert the criticism of de Harlez. Soder- 
blom (La Vie Future, 126) thinks the Dasturs read too much into 
Ys 33 1 , and that Zarathushtra thought as little of Hamistakdn when 
he wrote it as Paul thought of Purgatory in 1 Cor. 3 15 . Dr 
Casartelli also thinks the doctrine later (Mazdayasnian Religion, 
p. 194 f). But neither he nor Soderblom had before him Bar- 
tholomae s treatment of hama-myasaite as from ham (Skt sam, Greek 
d-) and the root myas, " mix," cognate with Skt miprd, and ultimately 
with misceo and ^lyvvfjn : see Walde, Latein. etym. fVorterbuch?, 488. 
This brings in L. Av. mis van and Pahl. hamistakdn to be etymological 
as well as semantic associates. 


there would be a preponderance of souls that could 
not be classified as asavan or as drdgvant ? Souls in 
this limbo only suffered the changes of temperature 
due to the seasons, and the Regeneration would 
bring their dubious position to an end. Later 
speculations of this nature need not be described ; 
but one specimen might be noted, the case of 
Keresaspa. This hero might have been expected to 
go to G-aronmana for his exploits in dragon-slaying, 
related in Yt 19 38 ff. and elsewhere. But he was 
unfortunate enough to offend the Fire, by attempting 
cookery on what seemed an island but was really 
a sea-monster s back. The monster withdrew into 


the depths, Atar suffering extinction in the process ; 
and " the manly-minded Keresaspa fled affrighted," 
though the Pahlavi commentator assures us that he 
proved his manly-mindedness by keeping his wits 
under obviously trying circumstances. It seems a 
little hard that he should be condemned to limbo 
for an act so unintentionally disrespectful to the 
majesty of Fire. The story is worth repeating for 
the patent contrast it affords to the lines of Zara- 
thushtra s thought. His " middling souls " were, 
we may be sure, determined on more ethical 
principles ; but the scanty indications of the Gathas 
are not enough to satisfy our curiosity further. It 
is interesting to compare Plato s treatment of the 
same problem in the mythus of the Phcedo, c. 62. 
Roth compares also a passage in the Koran (Sur. 7) 
where men of this kind abide on the ridge of the 
wall separating paradise and hell, content to escape 
the torments they see on the one side, but full of 
unquenchable longing for the joys visible on the 


other. Milton s Paradise of Fools, located on the 
outermost " sphere " of the Ptolemaic " world," is 
another interesting literary parallel. 

Some other details in Zarathushtra s eschatology 
will emerge from the reading of the Gathas as given 
below. What has been said will suffice for a general 
picture of his system. Later accretions, consistent 
or incongruous, may be examined in Soderblom s 
great monograph, in Casartelli s authoritative account 
of Sassanian Parsism, and in Boklen s suggestive but 
too ingenious exposition of parallels between Parsi 
and Jewish eschatology. A few general observations 
must suffice here. 

Specifically Magian eschatology was probably 
limited to speculations as to a new heaven and a new 
earth. We have the authority of Theopompus for 
their belief in immortality, but even Theopompus is 
not nearly ancient enough to guarantee his evidence 
as applying to Magianism apart from the Iranian and 
the strictly Zarathushtrian elements which they 
assimilated. Of course, I must admit in my turn 
that to prove the absence of an individual eschatology 
in original Magianism lies outside the evidence. 
There is one obvious point of view from which 
Magianism would naturally come to a belief in 
immortality. Death is conspicuously the creation of 
Ahriman, one of whose standing epithets is pouru- 
mahrka, "many-slaying." Even, then, if immortal 
ity formed no part of the original doctrine of the 
Magi and it seems to me improbable that it did 
belong to their system before they took up Zoro- 
astrianism it would be commended to them by their 
tendency to make the world evenly divided between 


the two opposing powers. Light and darkness, health 
and sickness, knowledge and ignorance, love and hate 
these were antitheses necessarily linked with the 
conception of Ormazd and Ahriman. Life and death 
could clearly not be omitted ; and the certainly 
Magian notion of the supremely polluting power of 
a corpse would tend to suggest that the good Spirit 
must annul that which was so conspicuously the 
triumph of his foe. This, however, only meant that 
the Magi accepted immortality, not that they 
inherited a doctrine based on the analogy of nature, 
like the unreformed Iranian religion, or like Zara- 
thushtra could contribute original and profound 
thought to the establishment of the far-reaching 
conception which was to influence so widely the 
religious thinking of men. The more character 
istically Magian speculations the flattened earth, 
the vanishing of shadows, the uniformity of speech, 
and the like I have dealt with elsewhere. How far 
these Magian ideals contribute to the enhancement 
of happiness in the world that is to be, the readei 
may judge for himself. 

Meanwhile, among the Iranian peoples whose 
belief in a future life Zarathushtra had inherited anc 
developed, the picturesque and mythical side of th< 
doctrine naturally went on gathering new features 
The hints of the Gathas were improved upon ii 
indeed, we must not generally say that the Gatha 
have reduced to mere hints elements of mythu 
already existing, which in post- reformation days re 
covered all their old exuberance. For example, th 
Gathas allude 1 to the nectar and ambrosia if w 

1 See Ys 34 11 and note (p. 363). 


may translate by familiar terms of another mythology 
on which the blessed are to feast in the House of 
Praise. It is there, as we should expect, a passing 
symbol, no more to be taken literally than the " fruit 
of the vine " which Jesus spoke of drinking in the 
Kingdom of God. In the Later Avesta there is 
more precision. The climax of the exquisite descrip 
tion of the passage of the soul into the presence of 
Ahura in the Hadhokht Nask (" Yasht 22 ") is the 
answer from the Throne to the question addressed to 
f he newcomer by one who has arrived before him : 

16 How didst thou die, O righteous man ? How earnest 
thou, righteous man, from homes stocked with cattle and 
where birds gather and pair (?), from the corporeal world 
into the spiritual, from the world of perils into that where 
perils are not ? How fell it that the long felicity has 
come to thee ? 

17 Then spake Ahura Mazdah : Ask him not of whom thou 
art asking, who has come on the awful, painful, distressful 
path where body and consciousness l part asunder. 18 Let 
them bring him food of springtide butter : this is the food 
of the youth 2 of good thoughts, good words, good deeds, 
good Self after death ; this the food for the woman whose 
good thoughts, good words, good deeds outweigh (the evil), 
docile, obedient to the authority, 3 after her death. 

This raoyna zaramaya is evidently the survival of 
an Aryan concept, seen in the Indian amrti and the 
Greek and other Indo-European mythologies. As 

1 Astasca baoSanhasca : cf. the five parts of man as described 
below, p. 256 f. 

2 For the daena has the form of eternal youth, fixed as that of 
fifteen years old. 

3 Ratu. In the Later Avesta Bartholomae defines it as the 
spiritual superior assigned to every creature of Ahura, who has to 
make the decision in all questions, especially of religion. Some 
times it keeps its older sense of Judge. See AirWb, 1498. 


we see elsewhere, the Aryan Sauma (Haoma) belongs 
to the same category. The antithetic " foul food," 
as the most characteristic feature of hell, has met us 
already in the Gathas (p. 172), and meets us again in 
the obverse of Yasht 22 (I. 36 ). 

There are many other things to be learnt from the 
gem of the Later Avesta from which this quotation 
comes. I must stay for only one, the registration of 
a clear sign-manual of Magian work in the exact and 
mechanical balancing of all its details. As the 
Yasht has come down to us, a large section of 
this hideous caricature is missing. Darmesteter 
(SHE, xxiii. 319 f.) supplies its substance from the 
Book of Arda Viraf, the Pahlavi Dante. We should 
have liked to believe that something sealed the lips 
of that literary outrage-monger, when he set to the 
deliberate spoiling of the most beautiful thing in the 
Avesta. But I do not imagine that poetry was much 
in the line of the priestly theorists who tried to make 
Zarathushtra s teaching symmetrical. It may have 
been only accident that stayed the sacrilegious hand, 
It is, however, a curious coincidence at least that so 
much of this balancing seems to have been left un 
finished angels only half provided with fiends tc 
match, and virtues with imperfectly vicious antitheses. 
It all belongs to the general fact that the syncretism 
was completed before the Magi had become entirel} 
merged in the Parsi community, having clung toe 
long to their own peculiar uses and beliefs, whicl 
were destined to fail of entrance to the closed canoi 
of Sassanian reformed Mazdayasna. 

Let me close with one reminder affecting a fiel( 
I have left generally untouched for reasons sufficient!] 


set forth elsewhere. That the religion we know as 
Mithraism moved on a very different and a very 
much lower plane than the creed of Zarathushtra 
has been already made clear; also that most of its 
primary characteristics were so independent of our 
Prophet, and so charged with Semitic and other alien 
ideas, that its study cannot help us in the delineation 
of the religion with which we are concerned. But it 
was mostly Aryan mythology that gave Mithraism 
its doctrine of immortality. The long, stern struggle 
between Mithra and Christ now lies many centuries 
back in the past, and nothing but Christmas Day 
remains to preserve the significant fact that the 
" Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun " has long been 
added to the Victor s spoils. We can record then 
without grudging the value of the testimony of 
Mithraism as to the wistful hope of humanity. It is 
faithfully enshrined in Mr Kipling s splendid song, 
which, if it is far away from Zarathushtra, 1 would in 
this regard at least not be unworthy of his thought : 

Mithras, God of the sunset, low on the Western main, 
Then descending immortal, immortal to rise again ! 
Now when the watch is ended, now when the wine is drawn, 
Mithras, also a soldier, keep us pure till the dawn ! 

Mithras, God of the Midnight, here where the great bull dies, 
Look on thy children in darkness, oh take our sacrifice ! 
Many roads Thou hast fashioned : all of them lead to the Light, 
Mithras, also a soldier, teach us to die aright ! 

1 What Zarathushtra thought of the nocturnal taurobolium, alluded 
to in the second stanza, is noted on p. 129. 



Mayot Se Ke^topi Sarat TTO\\OV TWV aXXwv avOpwirw. HERODOTUS. 

WE turn now to what I have provisionally called the 
non- Aryan stratum in the Avesta. In delineating 
this I must premise that I am venturing largely off 
the beaten track of scholarship, and endeavouring to 
blaze a path for myself through a rather difficult 
wood. I have indicated already that the Yashts, and 
kindred parts of the Avesta, represent with tolerable 
exactness the unreformed Iranian religion. They are 
posterior to Zarathushtra in time but not in matter, 
except to a relatively small degree. 1 Like many 
another great religious reformer, Zarathushtra over 
stepped the people s capacity. His success was 
mainly with the court circle, and depended on the 
fortunate accident that he discovered a monarch of 
high character and spiritual receptivity. Of really 
popular elements his religion had few ; and as soon 
as the Founder himself and his royal convert were 
gone, the religious conditions of the people largely 
reverted to the previous level. Only the Prophet s 
name remained, and some of the simpler conceptions 
of his system, which were preserved by the very fact 

1 Cf. Bartholomae s dictum (Zum AirWb, 245): " The Later Avesta 
contains a great deal that is wholly non-Zoroastrian." 



that they were misunderstood, and could therefore 
be assimilated to other elements of a practically 
undisturbed polytheism. The systematisation of 
Zarathushtra s doctrine, in a form that in some of its 
most serious aspects really approximated to their 
original, was reserved for the age of the Sassanians. 

It becomes very clear as we study the Avesta that 
a mere reversion to Iranian polytheism will not 
account for all its features. The Yashts and Later 
Yasna are explained, apart from many passages 
which proclaim themselves relatively late in the most 
cursory examination. But the ritual portion, cover 
ing nearly all the Vendidad and cognate texts, written 
wholly in prose, cannot possibly be interpreted from 
sources that give us Aryan or Iranian religion. Now 
our classical texts are unanimous in connecting the 
Persian religion with the name of the Magi. Who 
were they ? They are absent altogether from the 
Avesta, one prose passage excepted, very obviously 
late ; but from Herodotus down they figure con 
sistently in Greek and Latin writers as the priests of 
the Persian religion. He gives us as usual our first 
and best information. There were six tribes, he says, 
in Media. All the names have been plausibly inter 
preted on Persian lines by Oppert, and again by 
Carnoy. 1 We are only concerned with two, the 
AptfyvToi and the Mayo*. The former word is obvious 
Persian, Ariyazantava, "having Aryan family" or 
perhaps Arizantava, "having noble family." 1 We 

1 Dr Casartelli has kindly called my attention to an able article 
by Prof. Carnoy, of Louvain, on " Le Nom des Mages," Le Museon, 
n.s., ix. 121-158 (1908). He discusses afresh the names of the six 
tribes, regarding them all as Aryan. For A/oiavToi he would 


should not allow the word Aryan the wide connota 
tion we generally give it : we can hardly believe that 
five out of the six tribes were non- Aryan, though 
we may be fairly certain that some of them were. If 
we take ariya here as denoting the aristocracy we 
shall probably not be far wrong: the alternative 
cognate ari of course means this in any case. 
It will anyhow mean the same as it does in the 
Behistan Inscription (not the Old Persian form 
of it), where Auramazda is "god of the Aryans." 
The Magi are accordingly outside the ruling caste: 
whether they belong to what we call the Aryans 
or not may be left open for the present. But we 
might separate the language question, remembering 
that scientifically we must think of Aryan first 
as a language term exclusively, 1 with freedom to 

recognise the prefix ari in Skt ari-gurta, etc., so that it is equivalent 
to 01 a/Horoi. Names like Aptao-Tr^s, " with strong horses," require 
the original sense of arya, while such as ApiapdOys, " friend of 
Aryans/ demand the derived. If we say that the word meant 
"noble," both in the social and in the deeper sense, we shall 
probably be near the truth. As I argue in the text, " Aryan " 
did not mean what we make it mean, in any case. As to Mayot, 
Prof. Carnoy urges that it must fall into line with the rest, which 
he has interpreted as names of social castes : his argument is 
certainly plausible, though we can hardly expect assured proof. 
He connects it with f^ap, ^r\^a.vt], Ma^awv, which by a careful 
linguistic analysis he brings into line with the Gothic and Old Irish 
word discussed in the Excursus below (p. 429). The meaning he 
reaches is " celui qui aide, qui travaille a guerir et a repousser les 
maux." This is undoubtedly appropriate to the Magi as shamans; 
but does it explain the absence of the name from the Avesta as 
satisfactorily as the explanation I venture below ? 

1 E. Meyer (Gesch. d. Alt., iii. 28) thinks ariya in Darius s usage 
means the Old Persian language : it is to Pdrsa what "EAA^v is to 
Boiwros- But I do not think we must exclude the possibility that 
others beside the ruling caste spoke Old Persian. Meyer notes that 


postulate the existence of various different races 
within the same speech area. It is well then 
to remember that the Behistan Rock itself, with its 
three languages, bears witness to. Media as a trilingual 
country. The Susianian or Elamite must have been 
largely spoken within Media, as there is no reason of 
State for including it. The Babylonian shows that 
there was a considerable Semitic population. That 
Old Persian was also spoken by a section of the 
common people is highly probable ; but it must be 
allowed that it is the only dialect of the three which 
might be there as an official language. In Palestine, 
for example, Aramaic was the native tongue, Greek 
that of all dealings with the outside world ; Latin 
was there simply as the official language of the 
government, which was very likely understood by no 
more than a minute proportion of the Jews. I do 
not suggest that Old Persian was in the same case in 
Media ; but it is as well to recall this consideration 
that we may not overestimate the predominance of 
Aryan speech there. 

To this Aryan speech the name of the Magi seems 
to belong. To summarise here the results of a more 
technical detached note at the end of this book 
(p. 428 f.), there appears to be reason to believe that it 
was a name which the Magi themselves did not use ; 
they kept it out of the Avesta, except in one passage. 
If the other tribal names of Media are Aryan, as 
is probable, there is a presumption that this will be. 
And there happens to be a phonetically exact Indo- 

in Jischylus, Choeph. 423, "Aptov (a) means Persian (as the Scholiast 
explains it) ; he compares Herod, vii. 62, where it is stated that the 
Medes used to be called "Apioi. 


European equation available, which, as I read it, will 
give the meaning " slave." It was, then, a contemp 
tuous title given by Persian conquerors to a subjugated 
populace, and especially to the caste which had 
probably been foremost in resistance, as the revolt of 
Gaumata would lead us to expect. We remember 
how Cambyses, when he heard of the Magian revolt, 
adjured those present, and especially the Achgemenians, 
not to let the kingdom go to the Medes, of whom the 
Magi are simply a leading tribe. 1 Compare also the 
notice in Herodotus, cited elsewhere, 2 as to the 
popularity of Gaumata with the native population. 
The historian tells us 3 that the Persians kept as their 
greatest feast the Mayo^oW, 4 the anniversary of the day 
when Darius and his Six slew Gaumata, and the Per 
sians were only stayed by darkness from massacring 
all the Magi. On this Persian Fifth of November 
" no Magian may appear in the light, but they keep 
within their houses for this day," having perhaps 
some reason to fear another pogrom. Ctesias also 
mentions this commemoration, 5 which was no doubt 
intended to remind the subject population of the 
consequences that would follow if they tempted 
fortune again with an effort to throw off the yoke. 
(I must not stay to discuss the possibility that the 

1 Herod, iii. 65. 2 See p. 196. 3 Herod, iii. 79. 

4 So Herodotus : Ctesias (see next note) makes it ynayo<ovi a. 

5 Gilmore, p. 149, "Ayerai rots Ilepo-at? cop-ny T^S /a,ayo<^ovt as xaO 
rjv 2<evSaSaT7js 6 Muyos avflpyrai. (Was the name Ctesias gives him 
a religious title, assumed when he ascended the throne ? " Maker 
of holiness (or beneficence) " would be suitable ; and though 
Ctesias did not go to a Persian school, where TO aX-rjOtvew was third 
subject in the curriculum, he can hardly have invented this good 
Persian name *Spantadata.) 


Magophonia had a history behind it, attaching itself 
to " an old festival of uproarious character " under 
cover of which Darius and his comrades were enabled 
to kill Gaumata. It is worked out as a theory, in 
volving some exceedingly interesting consequences, 
by Dr Louis H. Gray in ERE, v. 874 f.) The 
ubiquitous " rebellions," which all the energy and 
resources of Darius were needed to quell, bear 
eloquent testimony to the strength of the indigenous 
populace. The Apt^avrol were probably the only 
Median residents who had kinship and sympathy for 
the Persians. The story of the revolt leaves us, 
accordingly, with the impression that the Magi were 
the natural leaders of the indigenous people of Media, 
whether Aryan or non- Aryan in language. We 
might even explain along these lines the connexion 
between Magians and Chaldaeans, which causes con 
fusion in some classical writers. 1 This may arise 
simply from the general belief that the Magi re 
presented the native, non-Persian element. 

Can we find signs of the presence of Magi in the 
country before the conquest of Cyrus ? Our earliest 
Greek source 2 makes the Median king Astyages 
consult "the oneiromancers of the Magi." This, 
however, in view of the historian s date, can count for 
little. But nearly two centuries earlier the Prophet 
Jeremiah 3 includes a Rab-Mag among a number of 
Babylonian officers sent to Jerusalem by Nebuchad 
rezzar in 586 B.C. That this means " Archi-magus " 
is at least the most obvious and natural interpretation ; 
and as it is mostly Semitists who question it, with 

1 See Wilhelm, ZDMG, xliv. (1910), 153. 

2 Herod, i. 107. 3 Jer. 39 3 13 . 


authority that I should be the last to dispute, I record 
with satisfaction that " chief soothsayer " is the 
meaning given in the Oxford Hebrew Lexicon. 
Moreover, according to Zimmern and Winckler, 1 the 
name of this official, Nergal-Sharezer, 2 means " Nergal, 
protect the King " ; and in their account of Nergal 
they expressly compare Ahriman, who they think 
owed his origin at least partially to Babylonian myth 
ology. The probability that the specially Magian 
contribution to Avestan religion was coloured by 
Babylonian ideas is strong, as I shall show later 
(p. 238-41). I have observed already (p. 135-7) 
that the Ahriman of the Vendidad is not the 
figure of the Gathas, from which the Magi selected 
a casual epithet and turned it into a proper name. 
The head of a caste of exorcists, who by potent 
charms can keep the Satan from harming the king, 
answers remarkably well to the Magi who exercise 
their apotropaic functions in Plutarch (p. 399 f.). I 
fancy some of the opposition arises from the axiom 
roundly stated by Dr Cheyne, 3 that the Magi " have 
no place in Babylonia" which is just what has to be 
proved. The opinion of Dr C. H. W. Johns 4 that 
the Rab-Mag may have been " Master of the horse in 
the Assyrian Court " must naturally carry great 
weight. But perhaps if we can show reason for ex 
pecting to find Magi, as a priestly caste, in Babylonia 
at this date, the objection to the most obvious 
explanation of the name may disappear. 

So far, then, we have convergent evidence which 

1 Schrader, KAT 3 , p. 41 6. 

2 See Dr A. S. Peake, Century Bible, in loc. 

3 Enc. Bibl., 4000. * Enc. Bibl., ibid. 


traces the Magi to Media and Jerusalem respectively 
during the last generation before the accession of 
Cyrus. Our next item is not concerned with their 
name, but with their characteristic cultus, in a detail 
which we can prove to be peculiar to them. Ezekiel 
describes in ch. 8 a series of " abominations " taking 
place in the Temple at Jerusalem, the date being 
accordingly a little earlier than that at which we have 
just seen the Chief Magus in the suite of the Assyrian 
general there : the vision itself is dated 591 B.C., but 
the practices in question may be either contempo 
raneous or earlier. First comes a debased animal- 
worship ; then, as a " greater abomination." the women 
weeping for Tammuz ; finally, as greatest abomination 
of all, some twenty-five men with their backs turned 
to the Temple, worshipping the sun toward the east, 
" and lo, they put the branch to their nose." Inter 
preters, from the LXX down, seem to have made 
nothing out of this last clause. The recognition of 
the Magi here supplies a perfectly simple key. Taking 
Ezekiel s phrase as it stands, we see in the rite a very 
natural concomitant of sun-worship. In many forms 
of primitive religion the cultus of sun and of trees is 
closely united ; and the holding of a bough before 
the face when worshipping the sun is likely enough 
to have been the starting-point of the usage, which 
meets us next in a developed form. Now we have 
various notices from antiquity which connect the 
Magi with the ritual use of " rods " (pd/3Soi). They 
were said by Deinon l to divine with them : the 
scholiast who quotes him for us adds that they were 

1 C. 350 B.C. (Miiller, Fragm. Hist. Graze., ii. 91). Notice that 
Demon does not call them Magi, but " Median soothsayers." 


of tamarisk. This detail appears in Strabo (xv. 14), 
who tells us that in Cappadocia the Magi guarded a 
perpetual fire, before which for an hour every day 

they chant, rrjv Sea-/mr)v ru)v pafiStov e^oi/re?. 1 This would 

have been recognised without hesitation as the ex 
planation of Ezk. 8 16> 17 had not the obvious difficulty 
of seeing Parsism in Jerusalem at the beginning of 
the sixth century B.C. forced the commentators to 
look elsewhere. But the very phraseology of the 
ritual betrays the fact that we are not dealing with 
Parsism at all, although we are recognising a rite 
identical with the use of the barsom which Parsi 
priests still hold to the face as they minister before 
the sacred fire. 2 The Avestan bailsman is cognate 
with bar9zis, " cushion," Skt barhis, the carpet of 
grass on which the flesh of the offering was laid. We 
have already seen (p. 68 f.) that this form of sacrifice 
was Persian as well as Indian. In the Avesta, where 
a bundle of twigs held in the hands is substituted 
for the mat of tender grass described by Herodotus 
(p. 394 f. below), the wholly incongruous verb star, " to 
spread," is used to describe the putting together of 
the barsom a clear reminiscence of the very different 
usage on which the Magi grafted their own cult 
instrument. The notice in Ezekiel is reinforced by 
Dr Gray with a very plausible allusion in Isaiah (17 10 , 
" cuttings of an alien God "), where, however, the 

1 See the whole passage below, p. 409. 

2 A full account of the ritual is given by Prof. Mills and Dr L. H. 
Gray in ERE, ii. 424- f. See also the interesting description of 
Prof. Jackson (Persia Past and Present, 369 f-)> who adds a plate of 
the fresh green tamarisk sprays he saw thus used by the Parsis at 
Yezd : the picture takes us nearer to the use of twenty-five centuries 
ago than any descriptions we have from the interval. 


context is not so clear. It may be noted, however, 
that there is a remarkable coincidence with Ezekiel, 
if we read the Isaiah passage according to Dr Gray s 
suggestion. The " plantings of Adonis " l answer to 
the Tammuz or Adonis worship in Ezekiel, and the 
" slips of a strange god " to the " branch held to the 
nose " by Magian sun-worshippers. Each prophet 
thus points his denunciation of idolatry by bringing 
together two heathen cults, and the same two one 
that of the vegetation spirit, the other that of the sun, 
adorned with an emblem which itself showed how 
closely kin they both were. 2 

That in these Biblical passages the Magian cultus 
appears in company with usages derived from Baby 
lon or other parts of the Semitic world is quite in 
keeping with probabilities otherwise ascertained : in 
digenous dwellers in Media and Babylonia, they had, 
as we have seen, a definite status in Babylon, as well 
as at the Median court. Indeed, we may even 
question whether we are not to seek for their origin 
further afield. Their most characteristic features are 
not at all Semitic. The method of disposing of 
corpses and there are few racial features more per 
manent than those concerning the treatment of the 
dead is as little Aryan as it is Semitic, if we are to 

1 See Dr G. B. Gray in loc. (Internal. Crit. Comm.), and Prof. J. G. 
Frazer, Adonis, Attis, Osiris z , ch. x. 

2 It will be seen how superfluous is the emendation (?) of the 
Hebrew text offered by Prof. C. H. Toy in Enc. Bibl., ii. 1463. I 
should note perhaps that I gave this explanation of the Ezekiel 
passage in 1892 (The Thinker, ii. 492) : I probably got it from Haug, 
Essays, p. 4. The interpretation is accepted by Prof. Jackson (Persia, 
I.e.) and Dr L. H. Gray (ERE, ii. 424 n.). So also Mr J. J. Modi, 
King Solomon s Temple and the Ancient Persians (Bombay, 1908), p. 40. 


determine Aryan custom by the practice of Iranians 
where it agrees with that of Indo-Aryans. It is 
characteristic of various barbarous tribes north of the 
35th parallel and lying between the 45th and 70th 
meridian. In Strabo s eleventh book we have at 
least three cases which have a general similarity. 
The Massagetse cast out those who have died from 
disease, to be devoured by wild beasts (p. 513). The 
Bactrians are somewhat more civilised (jmiKpov r}/mepu>- 
repa ra TM BaKTpiavwv [$V]) than the nomad tribes, 
but Onesicritus (ol irepl Ovria-LKpirov], who accompanied 
Alexander, says that those who were enfeebled by 
age or illness were cast alive to dogs kept for the 
purpose, called evraipiaa-Tai, and the chief city of the 
Bactrians is clean outside, but inside is full of dead 
men s bones. Alexander stopped this custom (p. 517). 
The Caspii in the Caucasus starved their septua 
genarians to death and exposed their bodies in the 
desert. It was a good sign if birds dragged them 
from the bier, less good if beasts or dogs : if no 
creature touched them, they made it a bad sign (KUKO- 
ai/j.ovi (ov(TL, p. 520). Two parallels may be quoted 
from districts lying on or near the frontier of India. 
Aristobulus (ap. Strabo, p. 714) gives TO yvty p nrTea-Qai 
TOV -reTeXevrrjKOTa among the customs current in Taxila 
on the upper Indus, in curious juxtaposition with 
suttee, for which, however, he does not vouch so 
positively. It comes also among the Oreitae, a wild 
mountain tribe in Baluchistan, as noted by Prof. 
Otto Schrader ; and there is an interesting detailed 
resemblance in the accompanying ritual. 1 In ancient 

1 ERE, ii. 16, quoting Diodorus, xvii. 105 : "the kinsmen of the 
dead bear forth the bodies, going naked and carrying spears. 


India, Prof. Rhys Davids observes, 1 " people exposed 
corpses to be destroyed by decay and birds and beasts. 
Children, bhikkus, kings, and Brahmans were burnt. 
Burial is not mentioned." As there is nothing 
answering to this in Europe, we have no reason to 
suppose that the practice was Indo-European. It is 
not likely therefore to be proto-Aryan, even though 
found among nomad tribes speaking Aryan languages : 
it seems essentially aboriginal. The same may be 
said of other Magian practices. We may safely 
regard them as an aboriginal folk, who retained under 
the influence of religion usages which were generated 
in a low state of culture. They gained, it would 
seem, a reputation for occult powers among tribes 
more advanced than themselves ; and the retention 
of their characteristic customs was bound up with 
this reputation and the profitable results of it. That 
an inferior race may enjoy such privileges as power 
ful shamans, can be shown from parallels elsewhere. 2 
Prof. J. G. Frazer cites for me the case of the Kur- 
umbas on the Nilgiri Hills. These aborigines are 
employed as priests by the Badagas, who dread them 

Having laid the corpse in a coppice such as they have in their country, 
they strip off the apparel (KOO-/AOV) that is on it, and leave the dead 
man s body to be devoured by wild beasts." A corpse-bearer in 
the Vendidad (8 10 ) must be naked : modern usage understands this 
to mean that he must substitute " Dakhma clothes" (Darmesteter 
in loc.). The stripping of the corpse itself is also (naturally) a feature 
of the Parsi procedure. See the full account by Prof. Soderblom in 
ERE, iv. 502-5, where other savage parallels are cited. 

1 In a letter to me (Oct. 1912) : he refers to his Buddhist India, 
pp. 78-80. " The period is about 6th century B.C. to 3rd century A.D." 

2 I repeat here some material from my paper in the Transactions 
of the Third International Congress for the History of Religions 
(Oxford, 1908), ii. 92. 



intensely, though strong enough to have perpetrated 
Mayo(p6via on a large scale when convinced that the 
Kurumbas were bewitching them. Similarly in New 
Guinea " the Motu (immigrants) employ the Koitapu 
(aborigines) as sorcerers to heal their sick, to give 
them fine weather, etc. The aboriginals, as such, are 
believed to have full powers over the elements." Of 
course, the Magi may well have risen in the scale of 
culture since they first secured this reputation for 
mysterious power : the parallel case of the Brahmans 
in India will serve as an illustration. The success of 
these foreign shamans in securing a monopoly of the 
priesthood for a cultus wholly alien to their own is 
no difficulty when we consider the conditions. The 
Aryan Medes and Persians had known them for gener 
ations as skilled magicians and occultists ; and when 
they volunteered for the work of the Persian aOravan 
and zaotar, which was confined to no special class, 1 
the people would feel that they had a special guarantee 
of correct and effective ritual. It would be like the 
case of Micah, who exclaimed, " Now know I that 
Yahweh will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to 
my priest " (Judges 17 13 ). He could have performed 
the ritual himself, but it would now be much more 
certain to secure what he wished from it. 

At this point it will be well to leave the Greek 
sources for the Persian. The Behistan Inscription 
tells us in detail about the usurpation of Gaumata 
the Magus, who pretended to be Bardiya (2/xe^t? in 
Greek), the younger son of Cyrus. Darius says that 
Bardiya was slain by Cambyses, his brother, the people 
not knowing of it. When Cambyses went to Egypt, 

1 Cf. Ys II 6 and 10 16 (Geiger). 


" the Lie " broke out in Persia, Media, and the other 
provinces. Gaumata appeared from Pishiyauvada, 
from the mountain Arkadri : the former is often 
supposed to be Haa-apydSai in Persia. All the people 
went over to him, and Cambyses slew himself. The 
sovranty which Gaumata thus took from Cambyses 
had been from long time past in the Acheemenian 
family. No one, Persian or Mede or Achfemenian, 
could depose Gaumata, whom the people feared, lest 
he should slay the many who had known the real 
Bardiya. At last Darius called on Auramazda for 
help, and it was given : " with few men " he slew 
Gaumata and his foremost allies, in the Median 
province of Nisaya. Darius names his six comrades 
in the perilous enterprise towards the end of the 
Inscription (iv. 18). Here, as in the other essentials 
of the story, Herodotus is accurate, except for one of 
the six Persians names, and the omission of the name 
of Gaumata, who is simply " the Magus." And even 
in the name which Herodotus wrongly inserts among 
the Six, we find that his mistake lay only in promoting 
too high a man who in an inscription at Naks-i-rustam 
(NR d) figures as "bow-bearer (?) of Darius." It is 
clear that the historian was remarkably well supplied 
with authentic evidence as to events lying two genera 
tions before his own day. 

One or two of Darius s comments on Gaumata 
may be noted before we pass on. It is said that 
Darius restored " sanctuaries which Gaumata the 
Magian destroyed." I have discussed elsewhere the 
nature of these ayadanH, which are not necessarily 
to be taken as shrines of the king s own religion. 
The Magian usurper, as was natural in a priest seizing 


temporal power, seems to have tried to stamp out 
the invading Aryan cultus, and very likely Semitic 
worship as well, so as to leave the indigenous cult 
without rival. Darius in restoring the temples of 
other religions, together perhaps with his own, was 
only acting with the statesmanlike tolerance we have 
seen in him already. Darius mentions four other 
restorations he accomplished, but these seem to be 
unconnected with religion. From Herodotus (iii. 67) 
we add the significant statement that the Magian 
" did great benefits to all his subjects, so that when 
he died he was lamented by all in Asia except the 
Persians themselves " that is, presumably, the Aryan 
minority, whose unwelcome yoke the aboriginal Medes 
thought they had shaken off. 1 The long succession 
of revolts which Darius had to quell within the first 
year or two after his accession has already been called 
as evidence that the Acheemenian House had no 
popularity to start with : after eight years of Cambyses 
this was not strange. The Magian s usurpation was 
essentially an attempt to regain the ascendancy his 
caste had enjoyed under Median kings: see Hdt. i. 120. 
As we have seen, it is not much less than a century 
later when we begin to hear of the Magi again. I 
have been using Herodotus already, but only for the 
history of a political event : what he tells us about 
the religious position of the Magi evidently comes 
from observation in a later period. From the first the 
Greek writers assume that the Magi were priests, 
with special skill in divination and oneiromancy. 
They were already essential for all priestly acts, and 

1 The historian shows he had information from popular sources, 
and not only from nobles. 


identified thoroughly with the Persian religious 
system. Moreover, from the fourth century down 
there are frequent allusions to Zoroaster himself as 
a Magus, and many of the foremost modern authori 
ties have accepted this as probably true. It is, of 
course, admitted that no such assertion is made about 
him till between two and three centuries after the 
traditional date of his death, which, as we have seen 
(p. 17 f. ), is the minimum, antiquity we can allow him. 
In that period there was plenty of time for a mistaken 
identification to arise ; and if my general theory is 
right the Magi would of course make it a central 
point of their policy to claim the Founder as one of 
themselves. Their chance of regaining power, of 
winning the position which Herodotus so truthfully 
makes them claim in their conversation with Astyages, 
was obviously when the direct method of Gaumata 
had failed to persuade the people that they were 
necessary to them for the due performance of the 
rites of a common religion. For this purpose they 
had to minimise the differences between their own 
religion and that into which they tried to insinuate 
themselves. Their ancient reputation as a sacred 
caste, already secure for many generations among the 
non-Aryan Medes, would win them easy entrance 
among the followers of a religion which in those days 
was ready to receive proselytes from any race. 1 Once 
thus established, they would point out that Zara- 
thushtra, who had certainly performed some priestly 
functions (p. 116), was a Magus, and had handed 

1 In the Gathas we have the Turanian Fryana accepted by 
Zarathushtra as one of the faithful. See Ys 46 12 , and Wilhelm s 
notes, ZDMG, xliv. 151. 


down to them sacred lore. The guardianship of the 
Gathas would be claimed by them, and readily con 
ceded when the Magian bona fides was once accepted. 
And so the enlargement of the Avesta, by the 
addition of a codified Law, was only a matter of 
time. We shall not, I think, be far wrong if we 
assume for a working hypothesis that the verse parts 
of the Avesta were preserved by them and the prose 
parts composed by them. At present it will be 
enough to point out how entirely congruous the ritual 
element in the Avesta is with the general character 
of Magian religion, and how incongruous with the 
spirit of the Yashts, still more with that of the Gathas. 
Incongruities in detail will come out as we proceed. 

First, however, let me try to present the features 
of Magian religion which the priests could emphasise 
as common to them and the adherents of Iranian 
Mazdayasna. The picture of pure Magianism which 
we have secured from Ezekiel (p. 189 f.) includes sun- 
worship with eastward position, and the use of the 
barsom. Now this last, as we have seen, is an adapta 
tion of Iranian usage. If we may take " the branch " 
literally, original Magian use involved holding a 
bough up to the face during the act of adoration 
towards the sun. The symbolism is obvious and 
natural. The Magi found the adherents of the un- 
reformed Iranian cultus laying their offerings on a 
carefully strewn carpet of green stalks. They had 
only to emphasise the sacredness of this bar9zis, 1 and 
so gather a number of these stalks in the hand to 
present before the deity : the application of a variant 

1 I assume that the Iranian word once meant what its Indian 
equivalent meant. 


form of the old name completed the identification, 
and the old use faded away before it. Not immedi 
ately, however, for we remember that it was still 
in vogue among the Persians when Herodotus was 
gathering information, though the Magi had long 
established themselves in the monopoly of priesthood. 
That will serve to remind us how cautious they were 
in attempting to innovate. Of course we may leave 
open the possibility that in some other part of Iran 
the barsom was in earlier use. The Sun would be an 
obvious link to bind together religions even more 
distinct than the Magian and the Iranian, reformed 
or unreformed. One difficulty may be named. In 
Herodotus (vii. 37) the Magi comfort Xerxes in his 
alarm at the portent of a solar eclipse by telling him 
that the sun was TrpoSeKTwp for the Greeks, but the 
moon for themselves. This seems to imply simply 
that divination in Hellas depended on the sun were 
they relying on the solar elements (real or apparent) in 
Apollo ? and among the Persians on the moon. In 
Babylonian religion Sin (the moon) takes precedence 
of Shamash (the sun), 1 but this will hardly help us. 
More to the point is perhaps the importance of the 
moon in its connexion with the Urkuh. Could we 
be more assured of the antiquity of the identification 
of Soma and the moon, we might regard this as a 
hopeful solution. I cannot suggest anything com 
pletely satisfactory, assuming that the historian s 
notice is correct : it is too strange to have been in 
vented. But perhaps we may infer that in any case 
the sagacious Magi were depending on a Persian 
connotation of the moon as foretelling the future, 

1 Jastrow, Relig. of Babylonia (1898), 68. 


leaving us free to believe that their own reverence 
was paid primarily to the sun. The sun, of course, 
took one of the first places of honour in all the phases 
of religion that we are discussing now ; and we do 
not need to assume that it was the first place for all 
purposes that was assigned to the moon in these 
words, but only a special connexion with divination. 
Since the Magi were so specially concerned with 
interpretation of dreams, there is appropriateness in 
the function assigned to the queen of the night. 

Closely akin to this is the honour paid to Fire. 
This was one of the proto-Aryan divinities, as 
appears from Herodotus (i. 131), and from the 
Vedic cult of Agni. Zarathushtra himself had re 
tained this element in the religion, in so far that 
he had made Fire the foremost emblem of Deity, 
and the instrument of the eschatological * Regenera 
tion." If then the Magi were in any sense fire- 
worshippers to the same extent, for example, as 
the Scyths, with whom the Magi, if Iranians, 1 may 

1 It should not, perhaps, be assumed too confidently that the 
Scyths were Iranian in anything but language. Prof. J. G. Frazer 
(Adonis, Attis, Osiris 2 , 246) says that " the Scythians seem to have 
been a Mongolian people. He brings an exceedingly close 
Mongolian parallel for the ghastly funeral custom ascribed by 
Herodotus (iv. 71 f.) to the Scyths. As an argument for the 
Mongolian affinity of the Scythians, it is discounted by other near 
parallels Chinese, Patagonian, etc. quoted in this context by 
Dr Frazer : he does not however cite the custom in proof of the 
affinity, which he simply states, without reasons, as probable. But 
it must be noted against this that Prof. O. Schrader, who on such 
a subject has paramount authority, speaks of " the Scythians, who, 
ethnographically, seem to represent a part of the primitive Iranian 
race, left behind or scattered westward, and who remained in more 
primitive conditions of culture " (ERE, ii. 16). 


well have been kin they would find here a very 
obvious point d appui. 

Two remaining points of contact may be put 
together in a sentence drawn from the conclusion 
of Wilhelm s important paper on " Priests and 
Heretics in Ancient Iran" (ZDMG, xliv. 142-153). 
He assumes that when the Avesta was written 
all Iranians were united in the worship of Ahura 
Mazdah, and perhaps even leaned towards Dualism ; 
but the people of West and South Iran had another 
"bran of Dualism in which the cult of the stars took 
a more conspicuous place than it does in the Avesta. 
Some of the details here may perhaps invite amend 
ment, but the essence of the sentence contains, I 
think, a central truth. All independent references 
to the Magi make much of their astrology. It will 
be remembered that popular etymology interpreted 
the name of Zarathushtra himself as aa-rpo6vr^ (p. 77). 
But apart from the special cult of Tishtrya and his 
fellow -regents, we find very little star-lore in the 
Avesta : there is, however, just enough to make 
the connexion. As to Dualism, we saw above 
(p. 125 f.) that we cannot use the term to describe 
Zarathushtra s theology, except by defining it in our 
own way. But the Magi may very well have been 
real adherents of a dualist view of the world. In 
the parts of the Avesta which we have provisionally 
assigned to them, nothing is more patent than the 
mechanical division of the world between creatures 
of the good Power and creatures of the evil. There 
is a very marked difference in spirit from the treat 
ment of the subject in the Gathas. As we see 
elsewhere (p. 131), Zarathushtra s own doctrine of 


Evil amounted only to a strengthening of the old 
Iranian doctrine of Truth as the highest virtue, with 
Falsehood as the sum of all evil. To that source 
of every wrong the Prophet attached a descriptive 
title, Angra Mainyu, which, however, he did not 
make into a real name. The fiend might almost as 
well have been called Aesma Daeva (A.<rjuo(Wo9) on 
the indications of the Gathas alone. It seems a 
reasonable conjecture that the Magi commended 
their own dogma of a division of the world between 
good and evil powers a mere relic of animism, 
which gave birth to a dreary ritual of apotropaic 
spells - - by adapting the Gathic titles of Ahura 
Mazdah and Angra Mainyu. The latter name, in 
fact, waited for the Magian counter-reformation to 
give it currency : its presence is a sure sign not so 
much of Zarathushtrian religion as of Magian adapta 
tion of the same. 

There are two points in which the classical writers 
testify with great clearness to a radical difference 
between the Magi and the Persians. They are ex 
pressed together in a sentence of Strabo (p. 735) : 

Toi/f (5e Mayou? ov OcnrTOvcriv aAX oi(0i>o/3pu)TOv$ euxri TOVTOVS 
Se KOI fj.tjTpd(Ti (Tvvep^ecrOaL vev6/ULt<TTai. The first of these 

may depend on Herodotus (i. 140, see p. 398), though 
the omission of the dogs, which Herodotus and the 
Vendidad couple with the carrion birds, may possibly 
be significant. Strabo may have seen the " Tower 
of Silence" much as it is to-day, with vultures 
alone to operate. Herodotus, as we see elsewhere, 
insists that the Persians bury their dead, after cover 
ing them over with wax, possibly as a preserva 
tive : he is very emphatic on the difference here 


between Magi and Persians. This, of course, en 
tirely agrees with the patent fact that the Achae- 
menian Kings themselves were buried. We may 
add another instance of burial from Herodotus, vii. 
117. While Xerxes was at Acanthus, a member of 
the Achasmenian house named Artachases died, a 
man of immense stature and powerful voice. All 
the army joined to make a barrow for him, and 
he was buried with great pomp. In obedience to 
an oracle the Acanthians sacrifice to him <J>? rjpcoi, 
eTTovo/uLcifyvTes TO ovvo/u.a. One is tempted to recognise 
here the familiar sacrifice of the Yashts, aoyto- 
namana yasna, " with a worship in which the name 
is invoked." As a foil to these genuine Iranian 
usages, we have the tremendous emphasis with which 
the Vendidad thunders against any defiling of the 
sacred earth or sacred waters by contact with a 
corpse. In Farg. I 13 the burial of a corpse is a 
" sin without atonement" (anaparaQa) : it is Angra 
Mainyu s counter- creation to " the beautiful Harah- 
vaiti " or Arachosia. It is noteworthy that this land, 
where the Magian writer complains that so heinous 
a sin is rife, lies on the confines of Iran towards 
India. In Farg. 3 12 the joy of Earth is greatest 
where pious men have dug out most corpses of dogs 
or men. Quotations could be multiplied. In the 
original Median folk-tale underlying Tobit we shall 
see good reason to recognise in the heroes, father 
and son, the faithful performance of this duty towards 
the sacred Earth. Here then we can realise with 
complete assurance the establishment of a rite which 
belonged peculiarly to the Magi, and did not prevail 
among orthodox Zoroastrians till after our era, if 


we may judge by Strabo s evidence. Probably we 
should say till the Sassanian era, for the drastic 
religious changes which took place under those 
zealot kings are the first obvious opportunity for 
an innovation evidently most distasteful. The cor 
ollary suggests itself that the prose Vendidad may 
have been composed in that age : on this see p. 198. 

The other Magian custom horrified the Greeks 
to much the same degree. If Xanthus Lydus can 
be relied upon, they knew of it as a peculiarity of 
the Magi as early as the fifth century B.C. 1 This is 
rather doubtfully endorsed by Herodotus when he 
remarks (iii. 31) that before Cambyses the Persians 
were not wont to marry their sisters. The form of 
the phrase rather suggests that Herodotus knew such 
a practice to be current at a later time. But he does 
not mention the Magi in connexion with this, and 
his silence suggests that he did not know of the 
practice as one prescribed by any body of teachers 
in the Persian Empire. The Xanthus fragment, 
decidedly our earliest witness for Greek knowledge 
of the matter, suggests some suspicion through the 
exaggeration of the statement : it may even mean 
that Xanthus also knew of Magian practice only by 

1 Ap. Clem. Alex., Strom., iii. 11 (p. 515): fuyvwrai Se, 
01 fJidyoL fj.v)Tpd(ri KO! KT\. The extract, said to come from 
the MaytKo, goes on to accuse the Magi of practical promiscuity. 
Miiller (Fragm. Hist. Grcec., \. 43) declares the fragment inconsistent 
with that preserved by Nicolaus Damascenus. I do not quite see 
why. But there are weaker points about it than this. On the 
authenticity of the Xanthus fragments in general, see the note on 
Diogenes Procem. below, p. 412. Naturally, the fragments need 
not be accepted or rejected en bloc : we may claim liberty to take 
them one at a time. 


hearsay. Probably the Magi began their propaganda 
generations later, whatever their private practice 
was. In regard of this custom, modern Parsism, 
which has preserved the dakhma an eminently 
sanitary, inexpensive, and even decorous provision in 
a country where vultures may be commanded, how 
ever repulsive on the first impression has repudiated 
the khvetuk-das as heartily as any outsider could 
expect. The fullest argument against the imputa 
tion that incestuous marriages were belauded as 
i religious duty, whether in the Avesta or in the 
Pahlavi books, may be seen in a monograph by the 
distinguished editor of the Dinkart, Darab Dastur 
Peshotan Sanjana, Next-of-kin Marriages in Old 
Iran (London, 1888). It must be admitted, I fear, 
that the learned Dastur s argument against the 
evidence of classical authors is hardly capable of 
carrying the weight laid on it. 1 The hostile judge 
ments upon the credibility of Herodotus, cited by 
him, have long ago vanished as fuller knowledge has 
shown us how remarkably good was the historian s 
information. And to cut out as a gloss the above- 
quoted statement of Strabo is a heroic expedient 
which only betrays the Parsi scholar s exceedingly 
pardonable bias. I cannot stop to discuss the matter 
here in its later developments, for Sassanian practice 

1 See the criticism of Dr Casartelli, in the Babylonian and 
Oriental Record, 1889 continued in 1890. The bulk of the paper 
is a discussion of the strange Vedic hymn (Kv, x. 10), in which 
Yami woos her brother Yama, just as Yimak \voos Yim in a Pahlavi 
Ilivdyet translated by West (SEE, xviii. 418 f.). Dr Casartelli infers 
that this late Vedic hymn is an attack upon a custom known to 
prevail in some neighbouring race one, as I should put it, which 
was closely akin to the Magi. 


lies outside my period. Indeed, on my own defini 
tion the Vendidad ought likewise to be passed over, 
since it seems highly probable that this part of it 
is Sassanian. But an actual Avestan passage can 
hardly be overlooked. Bartholomae (AirWb, 1860 
where see literature) is very positive that the institu 
tion is known to the A vesta. Under -^aetvadaOa 
he gives the etymology ^aetu, "kin," and vadaOa, 
"marriage," despite Justi s objection. So far I do 
not see how to question his case, but I would 
note that the word does not occur in any Avestan 
text that has a claim to come from the earlier age : 
I should myself be prepared to put the passages 
quite late. But when Prof. Bartholomae proceeds 
(AirWb, 1822) to make Queen Hutaosa the sister as 
well as wife of Vishtaspa, and to find evidence not 
only in the Pahlavi literature but in Yt 15 35 , I feel 
the greatest doubt of the inference. In this Yasht 
passage which is metrical Hutaosa " of the many 
brothers, of the Naotara house," prays to Vayu that 
she may be " dear and loved and well received in the 
house of King Vishtaspa." Should we not infer that 
she was about to enter that house for the first time, 
as a bride ? It is stated that both Vishtaspa and his 
Queen belonged to the Naotara family. 1 That would 
not make them brother and sister ; and Darmesteter 
further remarks that the Bundahish (31 28 ) excluded 

1 Vishtaspa is called by implication a member of the Naotairye in 
Yt 5 98 , a verse passage. The clan pray to Anahita for swift horses, 
and receive the gift " Vishtaspa became possessed of the swiftest 
horses in those lands " by matrimonial alliance with this house, 
it might be suggested ! Vishtaspa s name was enough to bring him 
in where it was a matter of possessing horses (aspa). 


Vishtaspa from this family. 1 " Perhaps he was con 
sidered a Naotaride on account of his wife " (SBE, 
xxiii. 77 n). Is it not more reasonable to take the 
Yasht passage in its obvious sense, and charge the 
Pahlavi glossators with the interpretation which 
would make the royal patron of Zarathushtra the 
first example of their much-lauded virtue ? For that 
the practice is lauded in this literature is really beyond 
question. The paramount authority of E. W. West 
has fairly settled it, 2 and his demonstration gives all 
the more weight to his opinion that it is not proven 
for the Avesta. I refer to West s dissertation 
specially for his proof that the writers were urging 
on the people a practice which they would not 
receive. This is exactly the impression that the 
classical evidence makes. A rule peculiar to an 
alien tribe, strongly marked with traces of barbarous 
origin surviving into later days under the influence 
of religion, remained peculiar to them to the last. 
That instances occurred in the royal family is another 
matter. Herodotus makes no suggestion that there 
were Magi at the court of Cambyses, and his "judges " 
expressly declared that they knew no law permitting 
marriage of brother and sister. The king s own 
character is abundantly bad enough or mad enough 
to account for his act. Artaxerxes I. might be a 
similar case, though by this time the Magi could have 
intervened : there is no proof that they did. Personal 
viciousness, and an increasing jealousy of introducing 
foreign elements into the royal house, will be sufficient 

1 Bund 3 1 29 mentions Vishtaspa, but I see no reference to the 
Naotara family in the context as West gives it (SEE, v. 137). 

2 SEE, xviii. 389-430 : cf. preface, p. xxviii f. 


explanation of the cases where the infamous Cambyses 
example was followed by later Achsemenians. The 
parallel case of the Ptolemies in Egypt is naturally 
recalled. Here, however, there was the incentive of 
native practice in their adopted country, against which 
the natural Greek instinct seems to have failed to plead. 
Next among the characteristics of the Magi we 
will take that which actually usurped their name, 
r\ nayiKn re-^vrj or ftayela : so, for example, in Wisdom 
17 7 , Acts 8 11 , to give two fairly early instances of the 
use of the name without any reference to the Magi. 
It is hardly necessary to stop and prove that the 
Magi were generally believed to be pre-eminently 
skilled in magic. 1 What concerns us here is that 

1 E. Meyer (Gesch. d. Alt., iii. 124 f.) reminds us that "magic" 
was attached to the Magian name from the middle of the fifth 
century. Yet the best Greek witnesses, Deinon and Aristotle, 
expressly say, T^V yo^ri/c^v /Aayeiav ouS eyvcocrav (the Magi). In 
[Plato] Alkib. i. 122 fjM.jf.ia. is defined as 6e>v Bepa-n-fM. A good 
sample of the popular belief as to the powers of these famous 
shamans may be seen in a passage of the Baedeker of antiquity. 
Pausanias (v. 27 3 , p. 449), after retailing a truly marvellous story 
of a bronze horse, caps it with a miracle " partaking of magic art " 
(/mycov cro</>ias), which he declares he had seen in Lydia. He tells 
us (in Frazer s English) that The Lydians who are surnamed 
Persian have sanctuaries in Hierocaesarea and Hypaepa, and in 
each of the sanctuaries there is a chapel, and in the chapel there 
are ashes on an altar, but the colour of the ashes is not that of 
ordinary ashes." He proceeds : EcreA$wv Be es TO oiK-q^a. avrjp yu,ayos 
KOI v\a e7ri</>o/3??cras a-va. ITTL TOV /3(o/nov Trptara fjikv rtdpav lireOero eirl rrj 
Kf^aXy, Sevrepa Se emf/cAT/cnv OTOV Sr/ $aiv cTraSti /3ap/3apa /cat ovSa/wos 
(Twera "EAAijo-ii/ cTraSet Se CTriAeyoyuevos IK fii/3Xiov. avev re 8r] TTU/JOS 
dvay/07 Tracra. a.<^OrjvaL TO, vXa KOL Trept^avrj ^>Aoya e avraiv e/cXa/xi/ at. 
Prof. Frazer tells us (Introd. p. xix.) that Pausanias was probably 
born in Lydia (2nd century A.D.). The "magic" is accordingly 
attested by good witness ; and it is both harmless and (one would 
think) tolerably easy. 


magic was alien to Zoroastrianism. Even in the 
Vendidad we have the statement (Farg. I 13 ) that 
Angra Mainyu created aya yatava, sorcery, to be 
the bane of Haetumant, or Saistan. Darmesteter 
(in loc.} observes that the district was half Indian, 
according to Masudi, "and Brahmaris and Bud 
dhists have the credit of being proficient in the 
darker sciences." Whether such credit is merited 
or not, it is obvious that a half-heretical population 
would be easily held guilty of " black magic," 
the only kind against which the ban would lie. 
Darmesteter quotes from the Great Bundahish 
the note : " The plague created against Saistan is 
abundance of witchcraft ; and that character ap 
pears from this, that all people from that place 
practise astrology : those wizards produce . . . snow, 
hail, spiders, and locusts." If this comment con 
tains ancient material, it witnesses strikingly to a 
general hostility to the occult of every kind. The 
later parts of the Avesta, to which we are tenta 
tively ascribing Magian authorship, contain elements 
decidedly magical. Note the prose passage in Yt 
14 35 , concerning the potency of a bone or a feather 
of the varangan bird. I would not press this 
argument too far, for the ydtu who is so often 
banned in the Avesta need not on purely Avestan 
evidence be a magician in general, but only one 
who harms the faithful by Ahrimanian spells and 

Oneiromancy is a department specially connected 
with the Magi in our Greek sources, from the time 
of the expedition of Xerxes. It was evidently one 

of the most prominent of their functions. But the 



word for " dream " * only occurs once in the Later 
Avesta with that meaning, and there is no hint 
that dreams were ever studied. 2 

Astrology has already been referred to as a great 
feature of Magian activity. Now a certain amount 
of astrolatry no doubt belonged to proto-Aryan 
religion. It is, however, astonishingly small. Here 
there is a patent contrast to Babylonian religion, and 
to Mithraism. The Tishtrya Yasht is the exception 
that proves the rule. In that hymn the prince of the 
fixed stars is certainly invoked, with the three co- 
regents of the other quarters of the sky. But there 
is none of the sheer inconsequence of astrology. In 
the country where the Tishtrya myth had its birth, 
the disappearance of Sirius in the sun s rays coincided 
with the season of drought, and soon after his heliacal 
rising the rains began to fall. To regard Sirius as a 
good genius who has been fighting a long battle with 
Apaosha, the drought demon, savours of post hoc 
propter hoc, but is quite reasonable as such notions 
go. 3 One other Yasht, that addressed to Rashnu, 
has a good many references to the stars, but these are 

1 -^afna, identical with somnus, Old Norse svefn : it survives in 
Chaucer s sweven. On its appearance in the Gathas, see Ys 30 3 and 
note there (p. 349). 

2 Nicolaus Damascenus (in Miiller, iii. 399) makes the mother oi 
Cyrus consult the Chaldaeans about her dream : Wilhelm cites thit 
(ZDMG, xliv. 153) in his evidence for the popular confusion oi 
Magi and Chaldaeans. 

3 The Greeks (e.g. Hesiod, Op., 417 f.) traced the heat of the Do 
Days to the fact that Sirius was shining by day, and so adding hi; 
influence to that of the Sun. The contrast between the result. 1 
attained by infantile science and relatively sane mythology if 
instructive ! The astronomical problem of the Tishtrya Yasht i: 
discussed in Lecture I., p. 23 ff. 


not even mythological. The ubiquity of the spirit of 
Justice is brought out by invoking him from a series 
of places in earth and heaven where he may be. Three 
of the four Regents Satavaesa is omitted perhaps 
by mere textual accident are thus named, and the 
stars that hold the seed of the waters, the earth, 
the plants, and the Bull, the stars that descend from 
Spenta Mainyu. 1 I need not collect Avestan references 
to the stars, which are all on these lines. 2 There 
is never a suggestion in the Avesta that the destiny 
of the individual or the nation can be read in the sky. 
Whatever real astrology there was must be associated 
with the Magi apart from the orthodox religion. 

There is one curious phenomenon here which can 
only be explained on some such theory as I am 
advocating. The planets are malign influences in the 
developed Parsi system. Each of the great regent 
stars has a planet as his Ahrimanian antagonist. 3 And 
yet these " wandering stars," whose strange irregular 
motions seemed like an element of disorder in the 
sky, bore the names of the great Yazatas : Anahit was 
Venus, Bahrain Mars, Auharmazd Jupiter. The 

1 Were the stars supposed to hold the seed of plants and animals 
from the notion that they were tiny holes in the firmament through 
which the rain descended ? 

2 A speculation of Darmesteter s, endorsed with a query by 
Bartholomae, might be mentioned as a possible instance of the more 
developed astrolatry of the era of the Vendidad, regarded as largely 
Sassariian and built up by Magian influence. In Farg. 19 42 it is 
conjectured that "the two Manzu, the southerly, the everlasting," 
may be a constellation, and the "seven Horns " in the same verse 
another. Justi guessed the Milky Way for the former. I am 
tempted to ask if we might pursue this throughout the verse by 
transferring to a heavenly ocean the Fish Kara. 

8 Bd 5 1 . 


incongruity was noticed in medieval times. A 
Moslem writer quoted by Prof. Jackson 1 declares 
that the planets originally had the names of demons ; 
but when Ormazd brought them under his sway he 
gave them new names. Our explanation will natur 
ally be that Aryan and Magian elements are mixed 
here. The Anahita Yasht ( Yt 5 85 ) links the goddess 
with stars ; but the plural itself seems to preclude 
special association with the planet Venus, so that 
the Avesta does not help us. The names of the 
planets agree with the classical. There seems no 
inevitable reason why the planets nearest to us should 
be respectively the goddess of beauty and the god oi 
victory, or that which only the telescope can prove 
to be the largest in our system receive the name of 
the supreme deity. The key is found immediately 
when we see that in Babylon Venus, Mars and Jupiter 
were respectively Istar, Nergal and Marduk, which 
answer exactly to both Pahlavi and Greek. Prof. 
Cumont 2 shows how after the fourth century the 
ancient Greek names of the planets were gradually 
ousted by names evidently intended to answer tc 
those already fixed in Semitic star-worship. We 
have, accordingly, very clear proof that when these 
names entered Parsi phraseology and it should be 
noticed that there is no proof that this happened til 
a relatively late date it was from Babylon. Bui 
whence came the notion that the planets as such wen 

1 Grundrist, ii. 666. 

a Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans (1912) 
p. 46. " Thus the names of the planets which we employ to-da} 
are an English translation of a Latin translation of a Greek trans 
lation of a Babylonian nomenclature." 


malign ? Not from the Semites, for the sun and moon 
were of their company in Babylonian astrology, and 
I need not say how such a suggestion as this involves 
would have horrified the framers of Bundahish theo 
logy. Not from Aryans, who assuredly never saw 
demoniac features in " sweet Hesper-Phosphor " or the 
splendid Jupiter. We have here, I think, a significant 
hint that the Magi were strangers alike to Aryan and 
to Semite a conclusion suggested by other evidence 
that has passed before us. 1 

A similar double view seems to appear with regard 
to the classifying of Mountains. It will be remem 
bered that they were creatures of Ahriman in the 
system described by Plutarch (p. 403) : they are all 

1 My friend Dr Vernon Bartlet has called my attention to the 
interesting discussion of this subject in Prof. Bousset s Haupt- 
probleme der Gnosis (1907). The matter lies outside my chronologi 
cal limits, but I must briefly refer to it. Bousset discusses the fact 
(p. 27) that " in Gnostic systems and mythology the highest Baby 
lonian divinities, the Seven and the great Mother Goddess, are no 
longer the greatest divinities, but low demoniacal beings or half 
good and half evil, belonging to the Mittelwelt, or fallen from the 
world above." He brings out the agreement of later Parsism 
(p. 41 f.), noting how Gocihar and the "thievish Muspar (perhaps 
a comet) " have taken the place which sun and moon could not fill. 
He thinks the agreement of Mandaism and the Gnosis enables us 
to explain this by dating it from the time when Babylonian and 
Persian religion came into antagonistic contact. The Persians 
accordingly turned the revered Babylonian planets into demons 
a theory resembling the discarded view of the relations between 
the Avestan daeva and the Indian deva. Prof. Bousset rejects 
almost with scorn Cumont s explanation that the " wandering stars " 
were malign from their very nature. But Cumont is, I think, indis 
putably right. This way of looking on the planets answers Magian 
thought exactly, as the treatment of Mountains will show. We can 
explain the phenomena by simply noting where essentially incon 
gruous systems failed to mix. 


to be smoothed out when the Regeneration comes. 
What, then, of Aryan worship on hilltops (Herodotus, 
see p. 391), or the commanding glory of Alburz and 
other sacred hills in the A vesta ? Like the planets, 
I take it, they introduced irregularity into the balanced 
order of things, and so Ahriman must be held respon 
sible fdr them. This ultra-logical idea conflicted with 
the prevailing instinct, as is shown by the fact that 
even the Bundahish preserves a trace of the other 
view : note the " fostering hills " of Bd 12 41 . Since 
the mountains were sacred for Semites as well as 
Aryans, we may recognise here yet another hint that 
the Magi were neither. 1 

If I am right in thus interpreting features where 
there is some definite evidence for differentiating 
Magian and Zoroastrian doctrine, I think I may go on 
to select others in which incongruity between Gathas 
and Later Avesta may be read in the same way. 
Here of course we shall have to ask whether the 
deviations from Zarathushtra are due to the Magian 

1 Clemen (Prim. Christianity, 165) brings Biblical parallels: "In 
viewof the rough and mountainous character of the land,itwas natural 
in Persia to expect in the last days an earth entirely level : with 
this we may connect the prediction in Zee. 14 10 " [where, however, 
the point is the elevation of the new Jerusalem over a vast surround 
ing plain] . . . ; and in the Sibylline Oracles (iii. 777 ff.) : All the 
paths in the flat land and the rugged hillocks and the lofty hills and the 
raging billows shall be smooth and navigable in those days. The Apoca 
lypse also, I think, proceeds from this assumption ; otherwise it 
could not depict the new Jerusalem as it does in 2 1 16 ." 

I cannot see where the Sibylline oracle goes beyond Isai. 40 4 , 
which Prof. Clemen wisely does not quote. Nor can I understand 
his inference from Rev. 2 1 16 . For these reasons, though wholly 
willing to admit apocalyptic imagery as a field where Magian 
influence may have told, I do not include these suggestions in my 
discussion in Lecture IX. 


influence or represent simple reversion to the stand 
point of the old Aryan religion. Generally this will 
give us little trouble, guided as we are by the truthful 
picture of Persian religion in Herodotus, when checked 
by the comparative method. 

Veneration for the sacred elements of Earth and 
Water was a common feature of both religions. We 
know this of the Persian, and we infer it for the 
Magian. The Dakhma was always explained as a 
device whereby Earth and Water could escape 
Dollution from a corpse. Then worship of these 
elements in one form or another was so general in 
the countries where the Magi are found, that we 
should be justified in presuming it for them, were the 
evidence much weaker. Further, there seems a great 
difference in spirit between the Later Avesta and the 
relevant narratives of Herodotus in regard to these 
cults. A word may be added on the last head. The 
actions of Cambyses and Xerxes towards the elements 
became a very obvious stumbling-block when these 
cults were defined on Avestan lines. Cambyses 
profaned the Fire by burning the corpse of Amasis 
(Hdt. iii. 16) : the scandal thus produced, duly 
recorded by the historian, may be safely assumed to 
be reflected from the ideas of his own time, assisted 
by the tradition of the horror caused in Egypt by 
the destruction of a royal mummy. Cambyses out 
raged the Earth by burying twelve Persians alive 
(iii. 35). Xerxes scourged the Hellespont and cast 
fetters into it (vii. 35). The words of his defiance 
should be noted, for they exactly bear out the 
explanation given above (p. 59), which was written 
without reference to this passage. " And King 


Xerxes will go over thee, whether thou wilt or no ; 
but to thee, as is right, no man doth sacrifice, for 
that thou art a foul and salt river." Contrast vii. 
113, where the Magi sacrifice white horses (cf. p. 59) 
to the Strymon. 

Now it is easy to plead that " the character of the 
royal sinner would make a lapse from orthodoxy not 
very surprising " : it remains true, to continue my 
quotation, 1 that "the most probable explanation 
seems to be that the kings were transgressing only 
Magian orthodoxy, which had not yet entered the 
religion of the court and nobles of Persia, whatever 
may have been the case with the popular creed." 
That a purely Aryan cult underlies the history seems 
certain. The Aryans had no reverence for the sea, 2 
for it was the Waters as sustainers of plant life that 
they worshipped. At his actual crossing of the 
Hellespont Xerxes was very reverential (vii. 54). 
At sunrise he poured a libation into the sea, and 

1 From my paper at the Oxford Congress of Religions (1908). 

2 Tiele cites the case of Tiridates travelling to Rome by land 
as evidence that the sea was Ahrimanian (Religionsgesch., ii. 250). 
This would probably mean that a first-century Arsacide inherited an 
old Iranian impulse. The action would thus be in line with Xerxes 
defiance of an element the Aryans never knew, and therefore 
never loved as the Greeks and the Germanic races have done. 
Our inference is that the sea was a creature of Ormazd for the 
Magi, like the other waters, and the horror at Xerxes is characteristic 
of them. But Tiele has unwarrantably ignored the reason assigned 
by Pliny (see p. 419 n., below), that Tiridates would not pollute a 
sacred element, as a sea-traveller must do. I do not press the 
notice of Herodotus (vii. 191), that the Magi sacrificed to Thetis 
and the Nereids, genii of the sea, for we are expressly told that 
they were prompted by the lonians. But I feel convinced that 
Tiele is doubly wrong. 


then threw after it the golden bowl out of which he 
had poured, with a golden tankard and a Persian 
sword to follow. Naturally he wished to avoid no 
precaution ; but Herodotus expressly notes a doubt 
whether he was dedicating these gifts to the Sun 
as the choice of time might suggest or confessing 
remorse for previous sacrilege. More probably the 
historian has coloured the incident with Magian 
notions transferred to an earlier day. It would be 
absurd to make something affecting religion, in its 
leeper sense, depend upon the recorded conduct of 
creatures like Cambyses or Xerxes. But their very 
worthlessness suggests the expectation that they 
would not insult a powerful spirit like Earth or Sea 
if inherited or acquired superstition taught them to 
hold such in awe. The often-noted fact that all the 
Achsemenian Kings, good and bad alike, were buried, 
is decisive against the assumption that in their age 
the Magi had succeeded in teaching their own form 
of reverence to the Earth. Burial may even be pre 
sumed in a passage of the Gathas (see above, p. 163 f.). 
To Aryan minds the return of the corpse to Mother 
Earth may well have seemed the highest reverence. 
Strabo tells us (p. 520) of a savage tribe in the Caucasus, 
the Derbikes, who venerated the Earth, but buried 
their dead or those of them whom they did not eat ! 
That Aryans could venerate Fire and yet practise 
cremation is sufficiently shown by the usage in India. 
The whole conception of ritual pollution in these 
matters is understood at once when we recognise an 
alien notion coming from the Magi. 

It is less easy to assign to its true source the Later 
Avestan doctrine of the potency of spells. It is a 


great departure from the spirit of the Gathas, the 
words of which were turned into spells at a very early 
period. The A vesta is not the only sacred book for 
which verbal inspiration has been claimed ; nor is 
the day of manthras apparently done in religions far 
more widespread than Parsism. On the whole, we 
may well allow that both strata were responsible for 
this particular perversion of the Prophet s teaching. 
A Magian character in a matter akin to this may 
perhaps be recognised in the appropriation of a whole 
set of words to describe things and actions when 
connected with Ahrimanian creatures. I should not 
hesitate for a moment in attributing to the Magi a 
usage so completely in keeping with their manner of 
thinking, but for Bartholomae s tracing the germs of 
it in the Gathas : see Ys 51 10 and note there (p. 385 f). 
But a single occurrence of one or two words of this 
class, which may have actually suggested the later 
appropriation, is inadequate evidence that so peculiar 
a practice was in vogue in Zarathushtra s day. To 
divide words, like everything else, between the two 
great opposing Powers, is almost an inevitable sequel 
of the Magian theory. 1 Parallels may be sought in 

1 There is one passage, Yt 5 89 , where an otherwise Ahrimanian 
word is used of Ahura s creation, viz. bizangra, "biped." So far as 
this goes, I might infer that the system was not stereotyped in the 
Yasht period. The use of marak, "kill" (see below), in Vd 19 6 
brings an exception into the later stage. It may be convenient 
to cite some examples : 

Head (Ahuryan) vaySana (Ahrimanian) kamaraSa 
Hand zasta gav 

Foot zanga zangra 

Eye doiOra as 

Ear us karana 

Son puOra hunu 


various quarters. It is tempting to compare Homer s 
statement that the gods called the river Xanthus, 
but men Scamander ; or that the gods called Moly 
a herb which unfortunately men do not seem to 
have named or identified. Nearer to some of the 
examples in the note below is the euphemism by 
which the Sabines called a wolf Mrpus, which in 
Latin (hircus) has its proper meaning "goat." Much 
illustration of the principle is cited from uncivilised 
peoples by Prof. J. G. Frazer in ch. vii. of The 
Golden Bough*, part ii. The particular application 
of it with which we are here concerned has, however, 
features wholly peculiar, and thoroughly characteristic 
of the Magi. 

For by this time we can hardly hesitate to assign 
to Magian theology the systematic division of the 

To die (Ahuryan) raed (Ahrimanian) mar 
To speak vac dav 

To run drav 

To go ay dvar, pat (arid com 


To " conquer " the forces of Ahriman is van, to " kill the creatures 
of Ormazd is marak (see above). And so on. How little original are 
many of these names is obvious. The verbal root which describes 
the dying of Ahriman s creatures actually enters into the name of 
the Amshaspand Immortality. KamaraSa, " pate/ with its deprecia- 
tive prefix, is the only one in the above list where any particular 
reason is visible. A very similar principle may be seen in the 
names of three animals where we infer that Mazdayasnians and 
Daevayasnians (and pious people when they forgot ?) used different 
words. "Evil-speaking people " use the popular, non-theological 
names for the Ahuryan creatures hedgehog and cock duzaka and 
kahrkatat instead of vanhapara and parodars respectively. They 
also use the pet (abbreviated) name zairimyaka for the tortoise 
(zairimyanura, " keeping his toes in his shell "), an animal which 
the Magi handed over to Ahriman. 


world and all that is therein, each creation of Ahura 
being matched by one from Angra s hand. The very 
fact that the balancing was often incomplete suggests 
that it was attempted in the latest period of develop 
ment. The Magi never took very kindly to the 
Amshaspands, who play a small part in the Avestan 
texts which we have assigned to their authorship. 
But, as Plutarch s evidence shows (see p. 401), they 
duly created a daeva to be special avrirexyos to each 
one, though it was so perfunctorily done that the 
shadowy antagonists provided by Magian theory are 
invisible in all earlier texts ; and as they stand in 
Pahlavi theology they fail to have any special appro 
priateness for their several functions. 1 It should be 
noted that the tendency to balance each creation of 
Ahura with one of Angra suggests origin in a type 
of dualistic theory which existed early in Babylonia. 
When the Second Isaiah says in Yahweh s name, 
" / form the light, and create darkness ; / make 
peace, and create evil" (Isai. 45 7 ), we may recognise 
in the doctrine implicitly rebuked that of teachers 
essentially akin to the Magi. It should, however, be 
observed that the existence of such a dualistic tendency 
within the field from which he drew his observa 
tions does not prove any nexus between the Magi 
and Babylon, unless in their accepting Babylonian 
ideas as they accepted Persian. But the dualism in 
question may quite well have been Magian and not 

1 See on this subject Jackson in ERE, iv. 620. My statement 
above is not at variance with the general doctrine that the Magi 
were responsible for bringing out of the East everything that the 
West came to know about the Amshaspands. How much they 
transformed them may be seen from the Cappadocian evidence. 


Babylonian at all : in that case Kohut s " Anti-Parsic 
polemic in n. Isaiah " l is only mistaken in its identify 
ing Magian and Parsi. 

Finally, one can hardly question the responsibility 
of the Magi for the ritual, or very nearly all of it. 
Zarathushtra, if we are to judge from the Gathas, 
resembled the rest of the world s great prophets in 
his indifference to anything of the kind ; and native 
Aryan religion had only a simple system which would 
easily yield to the elaborate, under stress of the 
tendency which everywhere stimulates the growth of 
the externals of religion. Much of the ritual is of a 
kind which Eastern priests take pleasure in devising, 
perhaps with small expectation of its being undertaken. 
This especially applies to the rules that are to govern 
women, rules very obviously man-made : it appears, 
however, that Parsi women still yield partial sub 
mission to some of the most trying of them. The 
large use of gaomaeza (qs. */3o6/m.i-^/ui.a) is rather hard for 
outsiders to stomach ; no doubt chacun a son gout \ 
The sacredness of the indispensable ox and cow 
is an Aryan feature just as much as it may have 
been a Magian : here the Semites, too, were entirely 
in accord. But we naturally cannot dogmatise as 
to where they would draw the line in practical appli 
cation. Another point of difficulty is raised not 
infrequently in the Vendidad, where penalties are 
often so extravagant as to make the reader infer that 
they never had any particular meaning. Perhaps the 
lowest depths of absurdity are sounded by Fargard 
xiv, where is set forth the manner in which the 

1 See his paper, ZDMG, xxx. 709. The idea was first broached 
by Saadya (Cheyne on Isai., I.e.). 


slayer of a "water-dog" or otter may "redeem his 
own soul." Darmesteter may well be right when he 
says, " These exorbitant prescriptions seem to be 
intended only to impress on the mind of the faith 
ful the heinousness of the offence to be avoided." If 
language were intended to mean anything, we might 
think that, as the penalty starts with 10,000 stripes 
with each of two kinds of whip, the piled-up com 
plications that are to follow do not really matter very 
much. But to appreciate the elevation of the Gathas 
the reading of this section of the Vendidad may be 
found of educational value. 

I venture to present at the close of this argument 
some tentative suggestions which have occurred to 
me after hearing my friend the Rev. John Roscoe on 
the central African tribes, of which he has a unique 
knowledge. Their points of contact with the Magi 
may be variously interpreted. Mr Roscoe shows 
that the kings of Uganda belong to a stock (the 
Gallas) which has left very strong traces in Egypt ; 
and it might not be utterly impossible to postulate 
some very early connexion with aboriginal tribes on 
the other side of the Persian Gulf. But the discus 
sion of such prehistoric conditions must be left to 
experts. The parallels are presented here simply 
because they illustrate remarkably well the cultural 
stage which was crystallised by religious conservatism 
in the Magi. 

First may be mentioned the use of gomez, which 
is regular among the pastoral people of Bunyoro, a 
northern Bantu tribe. In connexion with this we 
may place the Waganda use of the urine of the 
parents of twins in purificatory ceremonies, such a 


birth being regarded as pre-eminently fortunate, if 
both the twins live. This is remarkably like a pre 
scription of the Vendidad (8 13 ), by which a man and 
woman who have contracted the next-of-kin marriage 
may supply urine that is a permitted substitute for 
gomez. We might, indeed, say that the ceremonies 
for purification of the relatives after a death, in which 
gomez is the chief agent (Vd 8-12), have a striking 
general resemblance to the equally tedious and elabo 
rate lustrations practised among the Bantu tribes. 

Next comes the fact that the people to whom we 
may specially trace the last-mentioned rite practised 
endogamy. The Baganda are strictly exogamous, 
but their kings, like those of the pastoral tribes, made 
their sisters queen. For generations past, before the 
coming of Christianity, there had been no children 
of these marriages ; the king had a number of wives 
from the common people, whose sons were ultimately 
destined to fight for the succession. But doubtless 
in earlier times a genuine Khvetukdas was the rule. 

We may even parallel the Magian usage which 
the horrified Greeks always associated with this, the 
institution of the Dakhma. For though the Bantu 
peoples regularly buried their dead, and regarded 
each clan as responsible for the placating of their 
kindred ghosts by a strict ritual of inhumation, we 
are told that human sacrifices were an exception. 
Men and women who had been slain in sacrifice were 
left unburied because they no longer belonged to 
their clan but to the gods. (In some cases provision 
for the corpse was anticipated by the exposure of 
victims alive to sacred crocodiles, with their limbs 
broken.) Now to be thus sacrificed was regarded as 


a specially privileged end : those left unburied because 
given to the gods had in this seeming neglect a 
happiness all their own. We might say, accordingly, 
that in the Bantu mind the exposure of the corpse 
might be associated with the most certain entrance 
into the home of the gods ; and this of course would 
bring them near the ideas of the Magi. 1 

A fair parallel to the Fravashi may be brought 
in here instead of being kept till Lecture VIII. 
Royal children in Uganda have what is called a 
" twin," regarded as an inseparable part of them 
selves. It is the umbilical cord, which is carefully 
preserved and placed with the jawbone the seat of 
the spirit after death, to be venerated as jointly 
representing the dead man s personality. The affinity 
with the external soul is clear ; but I think the Fra 
vashi is recognisable on one of its sides, and there 
is the suggestive parallel for the union of soul and 
Fravashi at death. The affinity of the "twin" with 
the plantain flower may also be noted, for the latter 
is certainly an external soul. 

The extinction of fires when the king dies may 
be compared with the care taken in Magian religion 
to keep Atar from pollution of the dead. There 
are other less notable parallels. The general im 
pression produced by the combination of similar 
characteristics is that while actual connexion of 

1 Among other savage parallels should be placed that quoted by 
Dr Casartelli from Abercromby s Trip through the Eastern Caucasut 
(London, 1889), p- 291. In the last stages of proof-correcting 1 
see in the newspaper a Reuter telegram (dated 13 Sept. 1913): 
" It appears that Mongols never bury their dead, but place the 
bodies in the open fields, where they are usually devoured by wolves 
and vultures." 


Magian and Bantu would be hard to establish, the 
usages compared may illustrate strikingly the fact 
that the Magi stereotyped for religious purposes 
a number of practices characteristic of a low stage 
of civilisation. The number and quality of these 
strengthen our inference that the Magi were neither 
Aryan nor Semitic, but remained on a distinctly 
lower plane than either until a relatively late period. 
Of course, the mere existence of isolated survivals 
from savagery in itself proves nothing : my inference 
depends on a cumulative impression. The fact that 
the Baganda had no temples for the Nature-gods 
rivers, trees, lightning, etc. but only for ghosts, 
suggests at once the Persian parallel in Herodotus 
(p. 391 below). 1 Divination by the entrails of fowls 
or cows links the Bantu with the Greek, as does the 
pot in which x oc " were offered upon a tomb. And 
we remember pre-eminently the discovery by Mr 
Roscoe among the Bunyoro pastoral tribes, and that 
by Dr Seligmann among Sudanese, of the long- 
sought and most striking parallel for the King of 
the Wood at Nemi. in emphatic confirmation of 
Dr J. G. Frazer s intuition. These parallels, how 
ever, are less varied than those traced for the Magi. 
With this cautious note we may leave the fertile 
anthropological field of Central Africa and return 
to Western Asia again. 

1 The primitive Indo-European community was similarly without 
temples for the *deivos. See Schrader s account of the evolution of 
shrines, ERE, ii. 46 f. 



THE MAGI (continued) 

The ancient Magians existed already before the time 
of Zoroaster, but now there is no pure, unmixed 
portion of them who do not practise the religion 
of Zoroaster. In fact, they belong now either to 
the Zoroastrians or to the Shamsiyya sect (sun- 
worshippers.) ALBIRUNl. 1 

WE pause a moment to take note of consequences 
that have accumulated from our inquiry, when 
combined with those in which we have tried to 
trace the thought of Zarathushtra himself. The 
conclusion has become increasingly clear that very 
little genuine Zoroastrianism percolated to the West 
before the Sassanian age. Through Herodotus, 
and to an incomparably less degree through other 
travellers, the Greeks knew something of Iranian 
religion, untouched by the Reform ; and the same, 
when contaminated with Semitic accretions, so as 
to form what we call Mithraism, became extremely 
powerful in the Roman world. On the other side 
the Magian system supplied abundant traces of its 

1 P. 314 (ed. 1 Sachau) : cf. Jackson, Zoroaster, 141. In 1000 A.D., 
accordingly, there were still, as Albiruni says, representatives of " the 
ancient people of Harran," who remained distinct from the Zoro 
astrians, as we have seen a part of the Magi had remained in 
ancient times. 



influence in many of the sources we have examined. 
Two examples from the Greek Bible are reserved for 
special study later in this Lecture and the next. A 
Magian folk-story, with practically no distinctively 
Zoroastrian feature, is found to underlie the Book 
of Tobit. And the familiar story of the Wise Men 
from the East is found to owe less than we should 
like to the Prophet of Iran, drawing its most note 
worthy features from things peculiar to the Magi. 
Such phenomena lend what plausibility can ever be 
made out for paradoxical theories of late dates of 
Avestan texts. The real deduction should rather be 
that the religion of the Gathas and to some extent 
that of the later and metrical texts and the Gatha 
Haptanghaiti did not effectively occupy Western 
Iran till Sassanian times. A few of its doctrines 
came through, suffering some obscuration in the 
process ; and the Founder s name and those of his 
chief conceptions became known, but hardly under 
stood, for they were interpreted very much along 
Magian lines. The doctrine of immortality was the 
main exception ; but even there we trace nothing dis 
tinctive of its Gathic setting, which would have deeply 
interested Greek thinkers. Our evidence gives us 
little to encourage the high hopes entertained by 
scholars who think to find in early Parsism a solution 
for many a problem of the history of religion. I have 
myself tried hard to build the necessary bridge, but 
I have to confess it does not seem strong enough to 
bear the hosts that would fain cross over. Not in the 
barren times of the later Achasmenians, the alien 
Greeks, or the indifferent Arsacides did the Avesta 
come fully out of its Eastern realm and win the 


attention of the West. And when it did thus come, 
most of the effects it was supposed to have produced 
were already a matter of history. 

There are some outstanding questions relating to 
the Magi which we may take up before we apply 
what we have learnt to the peculiarly interesting 
problem of the Book of Tobit. We have tried to 
isolate the Magi for separate examination, and have 
noted several remarkable peculiarities of belief and 
habits which distinguish them sharply from Aryans 
and Semites alike. Their curious doctrines concern 
ing the planets and the mountains were seen to be 
as hard to reconcile with Aryan or Semitic affinity 
as their notorious enthusiasm for the next-of-kin 
marriage and their method of disposing of the bodies 
of the dead. We must pursue the inquiry further, 
and try to set the Magi in their proper ethnographic 

And first as to the evidence from language. We 
have in Herodotus (vii. 62) a statement that the 
Medes were originally called "Apioi. When the 
Colchian Medea came to these Aryans from Athens, 
they changed their name. " And the Medes them 
selves thus speak of their own history." In all this we 
can hardly acknowledge more than that Herodotus is 
duly telling us what he had been told. Moreover, four 
chapters later, he uses the name "kpioi (as in iii. 93) to 
denote the people of Haraiva (as Darius calls them), 
living south-east of Parthia : this suggests the possi 
bility that he may not always have kept these names 
distinct. But I am not anxious to labour the point : 
Herodotus may very easily have been reproducing the 
proud declaration of an Aryan Mede that his own 


people had been named Ariya from of old. The 
historian s own notice (i. 101) as to the tribes of the 
Medes is much more important, since he gives six 
tribal names which seem to be genuine, if we may 
accept Oppert s or Carnoy s identifications. These 
assume that all the names are Iranian, which is of 
course at least witness, as far as it goes, for the position 
of Aryan speech in the country. But here again we 
need only recognise that Herodotus got his infor 
mation from Aryans, who gave him the names they 
themselves used. Now the tribes (yevea) were Bouo-a/, 

HaprjTdKtivot, 2r|00i^aTe?, ^Api^avroi, Bot^tot, Ma-yen. It 

is a natural prima facie inference that if one of the 
tribes was " Aryan " (ariya-zantava, from zantu, 
"clan"), the rest were not. But we have to define 
" Aryan," and we must admit the strong probability 
that here it keeps its primary meaning of "noble." 
Not that there is any remembrance of an original 
etymology which etymology may indeed be only a 
myth itself, 1 but merely a survival of the hard fact 
that the sturdy invaders from the North were (like so 
many other conquerors) a relatively not numerous 
clan, forming an aristocracy like Homer s Achaians 
or the Normans in England. If " Aryan " is to be 
used in its modern scientific sense, with limitation to 
language only, we may still be free to suppose that 
some others of the Median yevea spoke Old Persian 
or a closely kindred Iranian dialect. 

So we turn to the Behistan Rock and ask what it 
can tell us. Bagistana is in Media, and it may be 
assumed that the three languages of the Inscription 
would between them reach the whole population of 

1 See on this, p. 4*. 


Media. These are Old Persian, Assyrian, and Susi- 
anian. Old Persian was accordingly adequate for all 
the Aryan-speaking people who would see the In 
scription : there was no use for Gathic or Later 
Avestan a fact we shall find of importance later. 
But why were the other languages there? One, 
agreeing with that of the inscriptions of Susiana, 
closely akin to Elamite (Tiele), witnesses that Cyrus 
brought with him from Elam the progenitors of a 
population that kept up the old language, or found 
their kin already settled there. The other, Assyrian, 
necessitates our recognising Semitic colonies in 
Media. The general result must surely be that the 
five Median tribes which were not AptfaiW may 
have spoken the Semitic or the Elamite dialect, and 
so fall outside the limits of Iranian. I do not say 
this is proved, but only that Tiele (see next page) 
does not bring us far. If I am right in my reading 
of the Ezekiel passage (p. 189), we may reasonably 
expect to find the Magi spread far beyond the limits 
of Media, as indeed their affinities with certain 
aboriginal customs would encourage us to presume. 
In that case they would be at least as likely to use 
the Assyrian (as the liab-Mag of course did, if he 
was really an archimagus] or even the Susianian 
language. Of course, we have always to remember 
that we decide nothing about their racial affinities 
by determining their language. 

After defining the language of the Behistan In 
scription, which stands between the Old Persian and 
the Assyrian, Tiele proceeds : 1 

1 Religions gesch., ii. 53 (p. 44 in Nariman s English version, which 
I only saw in the proof stage). 


It is very possible, indeed, that the indigenous popu 
lation of Media, subjugated by the Aryans, spoke a 
language of the same family as the Elamite ; but in the 
time of the Achaemenids and the Aryan dominion gener 
ally it was certainly no longer the recognised language 
of the country. The ruling population of Media was 
Aryan ; the names of most of the kings mentioned by 
Herodotus, appearing partly also in the Old Persian cunei 
form inscriptions, prove this. 

But is not this mere assertion ? How do we know 
that the population of Media was predominantly 
Aryan ? Considerations just mentioned, reinforced 
by other significant evidence, suggest that our ethno 
graphy should recognise in Media at least two strains, 
a conquering caste and a more numerous aboriginal 
folk. The anxiety of Cambyses lest by Gaumata s 
success the kingdom should pass to the Medes the 
manifest fact that Gaumata s usurpation was popular, 
in that it meant the triumph of the indigenous over 
the alien power, these and cognate indications would 
seem to imply that Median was not simply a different 
branch of one Aryan stock, but the language of a 
people racially distinct from the Aryan Persians. 
And if Tiele really means to depend on the names 
of the Median kings as his central evidence, we may 
show the weakness of the case by simply turning to 
the history of Cyrus. He and Cambyses were most 
certainly Aryans, for they were Achaemenids, and 
they probably had Aryan names : there is at least as 
strong a case for this claim as there is for making 
Deioces Aryan. But Cyrus did not originally rule 
over Aryans, for his own Cylinder Inscription shows 
that he was King of Ansan. Who rules over Aryans 
need not himself be Aryan or vice versa\ Tiele 


thinks that the names of Median kings in the 
eighth century, down to the reign of Sargon II. in 
Assyria, are not Aryan in sound. The list of Ctesias, 
which Oppert tried to explain from what we now 
call the Susianian, he rejects, but insists on the 
Aryan character of FravartiS (^paopr^, Uvaksatara 
(Kva^dpw), and Dahyuka (Ai/foicw). The last named 
is the subject of Prof. Sayce s naive note (Hero 
dotus, p. 62), " A reign of fifty- three years indicates 
its unhistorical character." Queen Victoria had 
nearly disposed of this argument when he wrote, 
or " indicated her unhistorical character." Assuming 
in preference that " the discoveries of recent years " 
have not quite " brought to an end," as Prof. Sayce 
declares (p. xxxiii), "the long controversy which has 
raged over the credibility of Herodotus," and that in 
all sorts of unexpected places the old historian gives 
us hints which enable us to solve problems otherwise 
hopeless, I should incline to read the history in a very 
different way from Tiele. Herodotus not only gives 
names of Median kings which may plausibly be 
interpreted as Aryan, but he tells a romantic story 
which connects Cyrus with the Median royal family. 
What if that story starts from a germ of truth after 
all ? I am not proposing to rehabilitate Astyages 
as Cyrus s maternal grandfather. But I do think it 
possible that Aryan kings in Media may have been 
members of the same conquering race which under 
the early Achsemenids established itself in Elam. 
The Api^avroi, whose chieftains they were, become 
in this way a warlike tribe pushing west from the 
prehistoric home of both branches of the Aryans, and 
subjugating a weak native population, just as the 


Achaians and the Dorians successively subjugated 
Hellas. I am not sure that the resemblance may 
not be something more than a fortuitous parallel. 
The eight-footer Achasmenid Artachaees (Herodotus, 
vii. 117) was probably typical of Persian physique, 
although of course an outstanding specimen ; and it 
is hardly a wild flight of fancy to make the Persians 
cousins of the Achaians, sprung alike from the great 
Northern stock which gave big bones and muscles to 
Homer s Greece, dowered heretofore with little beyond 
Vains. 1 But all this is in the nature of things highly 
speculative, and I return to what is certain. I only 
wish to claim here that the Aryan element in Media, 
as in Elam and Persis, is reasonably regarded as 
limited to a small but dominant race, which in parts 
of this area imposed its language upon the conquered, 
like our Saxon fathers when they invaded Britain. 
Strabo s statement (xv. 2. 8 ; p. 724) that Persians and 
Medes were o/xo-yAtorrot Trapa /uuKpov belongs to a period 
when Persian now verging towards Middle Persian 2 
had become the prevailing language of the Arsacid 
kingdom. When, therefore, he says (p. 529) that the 
Medes call an arrow Tiypi? ( = LAv tiyris), he is not 
contributing towards the refutation of our thesis. 
Indeed, the passage quoted above might even be 
turned in our favour, for Strabo expressly says that 
the name Ariane covers partially Persians and Medes, 

1 On this see my essay in the volume dedicated to Prof. Ridge- 
way, referred to above, p. 5. 

2 Cumont (Textes et Monuments, p. 11 n.) notes the name Meker- 
dates in Tacitus, Ann. xi. 10, showing the Middle Persian Mihir for 
(Mifyas) MiOra : the date at which this presumably young man is 
named as a candidate for the Parthian throne is 47 A.D. That is 
only two generations after Strabo. 


and Bactrians and Sogdians to the north, which are 
in fact nearly of one speech with (Persians and Medes). 1 
It is not quite clear whether all four Aryan folk-names 
are subject to V/, or only the last two. But any 
how the Persians and Medes are assumed to be of 
Aryan speech, and yet there is still a qualification 
suggesting that the Aryan speech does not cover the 
whole of their area even in Strabo s day. The Aryan 
character of the Sogdians has been shown to us 
finally by the extensive new documents, but of 
course these are of a still later date. So also are the 
Manichasan MSS. from Turfan, which include Middle 
Persian and some specimens of a dialect supposed by 
Miiller to be the language of Khorassan, " the refuge 
of the Manichceans" (Fliigel). 2 

I should not wish to press very far any conclusions 

Se TOVVOfta 7-775 Apiav?5s p-^XP 1 A t ep ou ? TIVOS KOL 
Koi M^Soov /cat ert TOJV Trpos apKTOv BaxTptW Kai SoyStavaiv etcrt yap TTOJS 
KGU 6//.dyAa)TTOt Trapa /xiKpov (p. 724). 

2 There are some features in the scanty relics of this dialect 
which bring it nearer Avestan than the bulk of the MSS. Thus 
the numeral four is here catfdr instead of cahar (cajar once, p. 46) : 

five is panj, pancamik (ordinal), against panz. One document (p. 101) 
shows the word zavar, with the M.P. zor ( = strength) in the 
Pahlavi part of the same fragment : I note five other instances of 
zavar in Miiller s texts, and assume that these survivals are due to 
dialect-mixture. Specially interesting are the small fragments on 
p. 98 f. which give the panj marlaspandtih, "five holy elements "- 
the last word is doubtful; they are artav fravartty, "pure ether 
(spirit)," vat, " wind," artakhumt, "pure light," ap, "water," dtar, 
"fire." In the other texts (M.P.) we have vdd, ab, adiir. To 

fravartiy we must return, only noting here that both it and aria 
show rt against the peculiar Avestan sh (asa, fravasi). Once more 
we have 8/3ara, "door," which is nearer Avestan than dar of the 
M,P. texts. But these do not bring us yet anything peculiar to 
the Avestan dialect. 


that might be drawn from the affinities I have thus 
sketched. They lead us, I think, to realise more 
effectively the consequences of the fact that Media 
is the Western limit of Iranian language in ancient 
times. Except for the perplexing Indian (or Aryan) 
gods at Boghaz-keui and the assumed Iranian names 
of Mitanni chiefs, near the middle of the second 
millennium, we have no sign of Aryan language west 
of the forty-second meridian, to which limit the Medes 
and the Karduchi (Kurds) represent the Iranian 
branch. 1 Iranian speech manifestly claims more and 
more of the ground as we go east. It is, therefore, 
at least natural to suggest that Media was the resist 
ing medium in which the Iranian migration westward 
was arrested, only a proportion of the population 
being affected by the language invasion from Persia. 
The net result is that linguistic probabilities tend to 
reinforce the inference, drawn above on stronger 
grounds, that the Magi were part of the indigenous 
population of Media. They may have been sooner or 
later assimilated to the Persians in speech, but in racial 
characteristics, and in customs preserved by them from 
a remote antiquity as a sacred tribe, they owe nothing 
to either Aryans or Semites, and are purely aboriginal. 

1 Can the Kurds represent a swarm of nomads that left the main 
stream and struck southwards before reaching the north of the 
Caspian? The Sarmatae, just the other side of the Caucasus, and 
the Ossetes who still hold the Caucasus region, mark this path of 
Iranian migration. We could account for the Iranian chiefs of the 
Mitanni in this way. As to Boghaz-keui, we must be content to 
wait for more information, and hold ourselves prepared to tear up 
some pet theories,, if necessary, when it comes. On the Iranian 
character of Mitanni names I should be sorry to dogmatise. Have 
we really evidence enough ? (Compare p. 423 n. 2 .) 


Having attempted thus to answer the question as 
to the affinities of the Magi on the eastern side of 
their native land, we may proceed to ask whether 
they had affinities on the west. It will be convenient 
to enlarge the question to include Parsism as we 
have it, whether Magian or Iranian, reformed or 
unreformed. How far, then, is Babylonian civilisation 
responsible for Avestan ideas ? There is a strong 
party among Oriental historians who are bent on 
finding Babylon everywhere. I am not an expert 
in Semitic matters, and shall not even ask the obvious 
questions as to the evidence on which we are to regard 
the Babylonian mind as the one great original force 
in Oriental thought. But before I shut myself up 
within my own proper corner, I cannot help express 
ing satisfaction in some signs of the times. I am not 
listening for the shout, " Babylon the Great is fallen," 
from serried ranks of scholarship ; but some check to 
the extravagance of a few learned enthusiasts is not 
unwelcome. My predecessor in this Lectureship, 
Dr Farnell, has in his Greece and Babylon rescued 
Hellas from absorption ; and believers in the most 
original nation of history will read his concluding 
sentence with relief: 

So far, then, as oar knowledge goes at present, there is 
no reason for believing that nascent Hellenism, wherever 
else arose the streams that nourished its spiritual life, was 
fertilised by the deep springs of Babylonian religion or 

With this we may set the rebuke which professional 
astronomers have been administering to a distin 
guished group of Assyriologists who have built up 
a system of "Astral Mythology" without apparently 


thinking it necessary to learn some astronomy. The 
glory of Hipparchus as the first discoverer of preces 
sion has been restored ; and with all our admiration for 
a pioneer civilising agency, we are no longer obliged 
to credit Babylon in the second or third millennium 
with the lead in every department of thought. 1 

So far as I can see, Parsism is as independent of 
Babylon as was Hellenism itself. Its silences are 
very eloquent. I may put first one that follows 
naturally on the topic just referred to. If Babylon 
was not quite so learned in star-lore as some enthusi 
astic imaginations have feigned her, there can of course 
be no question as to the prominence of astrology in 
her religion. And in Parsism this is most conspicu 
ously absent. We have seen that the Magi had a 
great reputation as astrologers, but that it was in their 
own right : astrology never was at home in Parsism 
proper. Few sacred books have less about the stars 
than the Avesta. There is Tishtrya, the obvious 
exception that proves the rule. But it has been 
already observed that there is no suggestion of astro 
logy in the use thus made of the most brilliant of the 
fixed stars only a very natural mythology, account 
ing for the fact that Sirius disappears in the Sun s rays 
just during the hottest season of the year, the " dog 
days." 5 In early Parsism there is never a sign of that 
element which was so pervasive in Babylonian theo 
logy, nor does the later development show any in 
vasion of the kind. 

1 See the severe criticism of " Astral Mythology," by Mr E. W. 
Maunder of Greenwich Observatory, in the London Quarterly Review 
for October 1912. 

2 On this subject see p. 23 f. 


Another pervasive element in Babylonian theology 
is the pairing off of deities, and the prominence of 
mother-goddesses. This is most significantly absent 
in early Parsism. The Greeks observed l that Persian 
religion knew no sex distinction among divinities, and 
for the most genuine Zoroastrianism this is strictly 
true. There is, of course, one very prominent goddess 
in the Avesta as we have it. Anahita claims a Yasht 
to herself, and it is apparently as old as any other 
Yasht. But that Anahita is a foreigner all our 
evidence converges to prove. In the time of Hero 
dotus the cult was new, and the historian s blunder 
in calling her " Mitra " 2 suggests that she was at first 
simply a pendant to the great Aryan divinity, devised 
on the model familiar to the Semites. Herodotus 
himself asserts that the cult came " from the Assyrians 
and the Arabians." Her name, " the undefiled," is a 
cult title of a type familiar to us in Greek religion 
as Zei/9 MeiA/x<o? and the like. But, as sometimes 
happens in Greek, there is considerable suspicion of 
popular etymology. Jensen 3 pointed out that the 
name stood as Nahitta in the Susianian version of 
the inscription of Mnemon, which might come from 
an Elamite Nahunti. Cumont 4 mentions as pos 
sibly connected the Semitic Anat, which Tiele also 
mentions, though preferring another connexion. In 
the same note (Religionsgesch., ii. 255 n.) he even 
suggests that Ardvi Sura (" moist and mighty," on 

1 See Diogenes Laertius below, p. 413, and note there. 

2 See p. 394. 

8 In WKZM, 1892, p. 66. Cf. also W. Foy s discussion of the 
inscription in the same journal, 1900, pp. 277 ff. 

4 ERE, i., s.v. Anahita. See further below, p. 394. 


Bartholomae s view) was an attempt to translate the 
title rubat belit, often attached to I star s name. On 
some views of the meaning of ardvi this would not 
be at all impossible : if it were akin to Lat. arduos, 
the meaning " exalted lady " would bring it near 
enough to the Babylonian title in question. On this, 
however, I am not able to express an opinion, and 
will only say that a priori grounds for expecting 
both name and cult to be ultimately Babylonian are 
strong. This does not prevent its having been 
grafted upon an Iranian river-cult, specially con 
nected with the Oxus. But the late arrival of 
Anahita upon the scene of Zoroastrianism, coupled 
with the express statement of Herodotus, makes her 
foreign origin fairly certain. We can even date the 
rise of the cult as an element in Iranian religion. 
Artaxerxes Mnemon is the first of the Achaemeriian 
Kings to name any god but Mazdah, and he prays to 
" Auramazda, Anahita, and Mithra." Three times in 
the Old Persian inscriptions he names the deities in 
this order, with the Mother-goddess significantly 
before the old Iranian deity, who was apparently 
being used 1 to cover her advance. (It may even be 
significant that Artaxerxes III. (Ochus) names only 
" Auramazda and the god (baga) Mithra " : among 
Iranians the cult of the Mother was not likely to thrive 
greatly, and Mithra might easily carry off her spoils, 
after having been reintroduced very largely in the char 
acter of a male counterpart for Anahita on the Semitic 
model.) Now we read in Berosus 2 that Mnemon was 

1 If the mistake of Herodotus in calling her Mirpo, may be ex 
plained as on p. 238. 

2 Fragm. 16, ap. Clem. Alex., Protrept., v. 65 (p. 57). 


the pioneer in introducing images of the gods, am 
the worship of Anaitis, whose statue he set up " ii 
Babylon, Susa, and Ecbatana for Persians am 
Bactrians, 1 and Damascus and Sardis." We cai 
hardly doubt that in the Yasht dedicated to Anahit 
we have a description of her drawn from one of thes< 
statues a useful incidental evidence for the datini 
of the Yashts. How she took over functions origin 
ally appropriate to the Fravashis in the unreforme* 
Iranian religion, and to Haurvatat and Ameretat it 
Zarathushtra s system, is explained elsewhere. 2 , 

In this conspicuous but late feature of the religion 
then, we may frankly acknowledge a debt. This, how 
ever, is clearly not enough to account for Prof. Eduarc 
Meyer s emphatic statement that "Babylon ... in 
fluenced most strongly the civilisation and religio 
of Iran." When we turn to Meyer s Geschichte w 
find that the statement just quoted may easily b 
misunderstood. 3 He insists that the influence belong 
to the Persian period. Babylon was responsible fc , 
fixing the Amshaspands as seven answering to th 
planetary deities, but had nothing to do with thei 
original conception nor with that of the India 
Adityas, as Oldenberg would like us to believe. I 
fact, the religious elements assignable to Babylonia 
influence, on Meyer s own showing, are so late an 
so relatively unimportant that it is not quite easy t 

1 We should connect this with her Iranian origin as genius of th 
Oxus river. Meyer, however (Gesch., iii. 126), renders "in Pe 
sepolis and Baktria " : the text seems corrupt. 

2 Compare the argument at the close of Lecture II.; and on th 
relation of Anahita to the Fravashis and the last two Amshaspand 
see p. 271 f. 

3 See especially iii. 126. 


3e how his compendious statement of the extent of 
hat influence can be acquitted of exaggeration 
erhaps in the process of Anglicising his article for 
ppearance in the Encyclopaedia ! 
A few lines should be given to this matter of the 
leptad, a subject which has already been discussed 

k- |p. 98 f.). We have seen that the Hymns of Zara- 

hushtra are full of the divine attributes which at 

later period were collected into a sacred hexad, 

nth the name amdsa sp9nta (Amshaspands), or 

Holy Immortals." But the Gathas do not even 

ive us a hexad : there are other abstractions there 

,ith the rank of ahura, and we have no statement 

, r hich would show us where to draw the line. There 

; accordingly an innovation when with the prose 

Seven Chapters Gatha " the Amshaspands are 

ollected into one body with a special name. And 

& /hen in the Yashts, later still, we find Mazdah 
ssociated with the Six to make a Heptad or 
Jraosha added to their company so as to produce a 
iody of " seven spirits before the Throne," we are 
iaturally inclined to recognise influence from the 

1 Jabylonian planetary gods. It is worth noticing that 

ft yhen at a very early date the name of Mazdah him- 
elf was borrowed by the Assyrians, 1 he was con- 
iccted with seven Igigi, spirits whose " sevenness " 
nay very well have supplied the hint for post- 
iathic Parsism. As Tiele-Soderblom (p. 227 f.) 
uggests, we may possibly recognise Semitic in- 
luence in other Indian and Iranian sevens. When, 
hen, Cheyne and Gunkel claim for the Semitic 
ide what proved the ultimate form of Persian 

1 Assara Mazds, see p. 31. 




" archangelology," we may acquiesce without re 

Two suggestions of Spiegel 1 have been taken up 
by later writers. Prof. Meyer thinks that the pure 
Zarathushtrian system made every man meet an 
individual judgement three days after death : in 
contrast with this stands the idea of a general day 
of judgement, which must therefore be an importa 
tion. We must reserve the " Great Transaction," 
as it is a Gathic conception, which, however, 
would on the Prophet s own scheme be a new 
beginning for the world as a whole, and need have 
no relation to the individual. If the Semitists care 
to claim the impulse that brought the individual 
into this scheme, no harm is done. Prof. H. 
Zimmern 2 thinks the idea of an end of the world by 
fire is probably Babylonian. His only evidence is 
Berosus (in Seneca) ; and one would like to ask of 
those who think the ayah \susta 3 borrowed, whether 
the Stoics must also have borrowed their eKTrvpoxw. 
We should need very good evidence indeed to prove 
Babylonian influence upon Zarathushtra s own teach 
ing, such as this one suggestion would involve. 

Two smaller points may be added from Gunkel 4 
the assignment of each month and each day to its 
special genius ; and the recognition of four " regent " 
stars, one in each quarter of the sky, as seen in the 
Tishtrya Yasht. The former may have been in 

1 Eran. Altertumskunde, ii. 165-7. 

2 InKAT 3 , 560. 

3 See Lecture V. for this and other eschatological ideas here 
alluded to. 

4 Zum religionsgeschichtlichen Verst dndnis des N. T., pp. 1 7 and 8 n. 
the former from E. Meyer. 


operation in the early Achasmenian age, and has of 
course no connexion with Zarathushtra. The latter, 
with anything else that implied a careful observation 
of the stars, might as well come from the Magi as 
from Babylon. Prof. Gunkel s next point, that " the 
division of world history as a world-year into four 
great ages is probably found in Berosus, and depends 
on the Babylonian observation of solar precession," 
must, as shown on p. 237, drop its last element under 
the astronomer s proof that the Babylonians knew 
nothing whatever of precession till they could learn 
it from Hipparchus. As we see below (p. 404 f.), 
there is very great doubt whether the Four Ages 
entered Parsism before the Sassanian epoch. 

There may be other features of Later Avestan 
religion in which Babylonian influence could be 
reasonably suspected. I have no desire whatever 
to contest them. The complete freedom of " Early 
Zoroastrianism " from such influence comes out more 
and more clearly from the inquiry, and constitutes a 
new proof not so much of its antiquity for to outdo 
Babylon in antiquity we should need to put Zara 
thushtra back with the classical writers to 6000 B.C. 
as of its geographical separation. We might even pre 
sent some items to make a case for borrowing in the 
opposite direction. There is, as already observed, an 
adaptation of the Iranian divine name to the Assyrian 
pantheon, and the date must fall in the second millen 
nium. With this may be set the fact that the winged 
solar disk as a symbol of deity was borrowed from 
Egypt alike byAchsemenian Persians and by Assyrians. 
Whether independently or not, and by which people 
first, I have no qualifications for deciding. 


The possibility that Babylon infected the Aryans 
in their prehistoric unity has been mooted by notable 
scholars, of whom we need only name Johannes 
Schmidt and Hermann Oldenberg. The former 
devised, a generation since, the one argument, worth 
calling an argument, which has ever been urged in 
favour of the old assumption that the Indo-European 
Urheimat was in Asia. Schmidt found certain con 
tacts between the Indo-European numeral system and 
the Babylonian sexagesimal reckoning, and one or 
two in the culturally most important field of metals. 
The inference was that our language-family must 
have radiated from some region within reach of 
Babylonian civilisation. But Hirt proved that the 
peculiarities of our numeral system showed really 
a duodecimal system, not a sexagesimal, crossing the 
decimal at certain points : our own eleven and twelve, 
against the teens, are enough to illustrate it. And 
one or two similarities in the names of metals can 
clearly prove nothing. We know too well what the 
long arm of coincidence can achieve in language 
to rest far-reaching conclusions upon much closer 
resemblances than these. 

Prof. Oldenberg s venture l is less daring. He asks 
whether the contrast of Varuna and Indra, the ethical 
and the mere elemental divinity, may not betray 
signs of contact with the West. The Semites 
reached an ethical view of life earlier than the Indo- 
Europeans : is it a mere chance that suspicion of 
Semitic influence should suggest itself here in the 
similar tone of an Accadian- Babylonian hymn to the 
Moon-god, and in Vedic hymns to Varuna, who foi 

1 Religion des Veda, 195. See also p. 74 n. l , above. 


Oldenberg represents the moon ? If Prof. Olden- 
berg is right and his great authority prompts us 
to give any suggestion of his a most respectful 
hearing, we should probably go beyond his actual 
proposal, and find the contact in the Aryan period. 
For obviously what is said of Varuna applies 
much more emphatically to Ahura Mazdah. But 
after all we find plenty of abstractions in primitive 
Roman religion, and ethical conceptions in the earliest 
Greek thought that we know. Themis and Ananke 
the last not unlike Asha in some respects were 
even independent of Zeus. Is it not at least un- 
proven that an Indo-European people was wholly 
incapable of discoveries on these lines ? A people 
whose worship included the Sky, loftiest of all 
nature-deities, and those ancestor-gods who are ever 
the most potent to stir up the feeling of a close bond 
between religion and conduct, had native material 
on which to work without help from the outside. 

So we may, I venture to think, dismiss all round 
the notion that Parsism owes anything material to 
the religion of the powerful culture on her west. 
The conclusion would have been popular with the 
poets of the Yashts, who would certainly be slow to 
admit that they had borrowed from that quarter. 
Azhi Dahaka, the three-headed dragon, had his 
abode in 13awri (Yt 5 29 ) : so early did the name of 
the great city acquire the sinister connotation it has 
held through many ages ! In the light of that 
antagonism I cannot greatly wonder that only in 
secondary and inconsiderable matters the Parsi Bible 
took anything from Babel. 

We must now turn to another field in which it 


will prove that Magianism has been at work. It 
takes us westward again, and the result of the 
inquiry will be to confirm by another line of evi 
dence the case we have been constructing. Once 
more we find influences credited to " Persian religion " 
which turn out to have been almost exclusively 
Magian ; and once more, by the unexpected absence 
of characteristically Zarathushtrian traits, we are 
led to comment on the meagreness of proof that 
the Iranian Prophet s doctrine had any real influence 
outside Eastern Iran before the Sassanian era. The 
establishment of this thesis, that the Magi are really 
responsible for everything in Zoroastrianism that 
influenced the Western world, is so important that 
we may reasonably devote considerable space to the 
new evidence on this account, quite apart from the 
intrinsic interest of the subject itself. 

That there is some connexion between the Book 
of Tobit and Iranian religion has long been recog 
nised ; but the nature of that connexion has generally 
been read in what I venture to call impossible ways. 
I have been led towards an amended form of a theory 
I set forth some years ago. 1 In restating the theory 
I shall offer in support an attempted reconstruction 
of the story in what I conceive to have been something 
like its original shape. Since proposing my theory 
I have received unexpected and welcome encourage 
ment from the discovery that it had helped a fellow- 
worker coming to the study of Tobit from another 
side. The Rev. D. C. Simpson, editing Tobit for 
the Oxford Apocrypha, had used my paper of 1900 
in building up a theory that the book was written 

1 " The Iranian Background of Tobit," Expository Times, xi. 257. 


in Egypt at a considerably earlier date than some 
critics allow, and that an underlying folk-story was 
brought to Egypt by Persian soldiers of the time 
of Cambyses. His difficulty was the supposed 
presence of strictly Zoroastrian elements in this 
assumed original. Meanwhile I had been myself 
revising my own hypothesis, and had concluded (as 
will be seen below) that there is no need to postulate 
anything at all in the Median story that bears the 
stamp of Zarathushtra. My amended theory there 
fore removes the one difficulty in an account of the 
book framed on wholly independent lines. And 
simultaneously Mr Simpson s thesis fits in exactly 
with my independent view of the religion professed 
by Cyrus and Cambyses, as simply Iranian daiva- 
worship, without any trace of Zarathushtra s Reform. 
The date and history of our present Tobit does not 
concern me here, for I am only proposing to recon 
struct out of it an Iranian story used in its com 
position. I previously assumed that this story came 
into Israelite hands in Media, where were settled 
the descendants of the Northerners deported by 
Sargon in 721 B.C. (cf. 2 Kings 17 6 ). But clearly 
Mr Simpson s view will suit my requirements equally 
well. 1 may content myself with referring to his 
argument, only remarking that Jews in Egypt are 
much more likely to have originated an edifying 
narrative of pure Yahwism than a community of 
the "Lost Ten Tribes" in Media, whose loss of 
nationality was confessedly due to apostasy from 
the national religion. 

Tobit moves in a Median atmosphere. Its scene 
is largely laid in Raga, " the Zoroastrian," as it was 


afterwards called. That it enshrines heterogeneous 
folk-lore is fairly obvious, and our theory only pre 
sumes that for a purpose which does not matter to 
us now Mr Simpson has a very ingenious sugges 
tion this was used in the construction of a story 
adapted to Jewish ideas. The old Semitic folk- 
story of Ahiqar is part of its material. And, as 
has been often recognised, the motive of "The 
Grateful Dead Man," found in the folk-lore of widely 
separated countries, lies at the foundation of the 
whole story, with the obvious substitution of an 
angel for the ghost a substitution made easier by 
the fact that the folk- story in Media would naturally 
introduce the dead man as acting by his "double," 
his "angel" (Acts 12 15 ), or, in other words, his 

My theory is most satisfactorily expounded by a 
conjectural restoration of the Median story which I 
postulate as the original of Tobit. I have en 
deavoured, accordingly, in an Appendix printed below 
(p. 332 f. ), to tell the story in outline, with notes to 
show my sources, and to point out the passages in 
Tobit which I am reconstructing, where these are 
not obvious from the sequence of the tale itself. My 
story, of course, pretends to no sort of authority : it 
only offers a specimen to show in what way the 
writer may have adapted his material. He found, we 
may suppose, a popular legend which with some not 
very serious modifications might be used among his 
own co-religionists in Egypt with clear possibilities 
of edification. Dr Rendel Harris s The Dioscuri in 
the Christian Legends gives abundant illustrations of 
a method of adaptation which has been fruitful in 


later days, though rarely, if ever, applied so wisely 
and well. 1 With such a purpose, quietly ignoring 
the features which his own religion could not accept, 
our author rewrote the Marc/ten, saying to himself 
the while, 

" Truth embodied in a tale 
Shall enter in at lowly doors." 

Leaving, then, most of the details of my case to be 
gathered from the text and notes of my hypothetical 
" Median folk-story " as reconstructed below, I put 
together here a few general arguments in its favour. 
The case rests upon the broad fact that there are 
traces in Tobit of the most important factors in 
Magianism, as distinguished from the other strata in 
complete Avestan Parsism. Magic may clearly be 
recognised in the use made of the fish s heart, gall, and 
liver, though of course this is not specially distinctive. 
The extraordinary stress laid upon burial is most 
naturally explained as an adaptation from an original 
in which a leading motive was the proper treatment 
of the bodies of the dead. Kohut s suggestion that 
the insistence on burial is anti-Parsic polemic does 
not explain the language used. Alternative methods 
of disposal are not even hinted at. Then comes 
the other specially Magian practice, that of consan 
guineous marriages. Our author comes fairly near 
this when he cites the example of Abraham ; but 
in his story he seems to contemplate the marriage 
of cousins, and his presumed Median original must 

1 There are excellent examples in Mr J. C. Lawson s Modern 

Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion. Thus the Rape of 

Persephone survives in a story of "Saint Demetra " and her 
daughter, with a Turk to play Hades. 


have applied the doctrine in this way. Of course, 
there is nothing in Tobit even to hint at marriage 
within "prohibited degrees" any more than there 
is a hint of the dakkma ; but the curious coinci 
dence that two of the most earnestly pressed morals 
of the Book concern the proper treatment of the 
dead, and the duty of marrying within the kin, is 
most naturally explained by such a postulate. The 
absolutely otiose dog which figures in the story, so 
utterly without meaning as it stands, and foreign 
to all the associations of the dog in Hebrew litera 
ture, bears out strongly our inference with regard 
to the former of these two Magian practices, always 
coupled together in the mind of Greek students of 
Persian customs. And as to the second, we find 
corroboration in the curious and illogical reasons, 
so often insisted on, for Tobias s being the husband 
marked out for Sarah by the law and the custom. 
The appeal to Num. 36 8 , which figures in the marginal 
reference at Tob. 6 12 , cannot bear this weight, for it 
only prescribes marriage within the tribe : we can 
hardly assume that the tribe of Tobit was so reduced 
that Tobias was the only young man available for 
Sarah as an heiress ! If my reading is right, the 
original story had the Khvetuk-das in what has 
always been the popular form, current to-day as 
the Parsi exegesis of the Pahlavi dicta on the subject, 
the marriage of first cousins. 

Next I come to the most obvious contact with 
Parsism, the fiend Asmodasus. The peculiar form 
in which Cod. B reads the name, Ao-poSavs, ace. 
Ao-fjuaSaw, is clearly original, for Ao-^ocWo? is a ver) 
palpable Hellenising of a bizarre form. And witl 


ts acceptance goes one of the scanty reasons for 
illowing the Talmudic Ashmedai a Semitic ety- 
nology. As Griinbaum pointed out long ago 
ZDMG, xxxi. 216 ff.), Ashmedai in the Talmud 
lifFers widely from Asmodasus in Tobit and Aeshma 
n the A vesta: he is not really bad, but a playful 
mp, with a highly coloured dramatic character, very 
mlike the colourless abstraction of Parsi demonology. 
So IDfib, "to destroy," which would suit Tobit, is 
nappropriate as soon as we get the word into a 
surely Semitic atmosphere. Ao-juo<W?, or still better 
M0au9, comes very near the Avestan Aesmo- 
daeva, when treated as a single word. But as I 
think it probable that all these names came into 
Greek through Old Persian, where alone they were 
made single words (see pp. 109 f., 425), I waive this and 
anly point out that the v excellently represents the 
P of an O.P. *Ai#madaiva, which is lost in Ao-^ocWo?. 
Now it is noteworthy that in the Avesta, as we have 
it, the actual collocation Aesma dacva does not occur, 
though it does in the Bundahish, which is based on 
a mass of lost Avestan matter. But he is, in fact, 
the chief of the demons after Angra himself, in the 
Later Avesta. Like Angra (see p. 202), he is only 
a casual personification (" Wrath ") in the Gathas, 
if, indeed, we are justified in giving him the initial 
capital at all. His " bad pre-eminence " appears to 
be due to the Magi. Zarathushtra had been content 
with very few demon names, and the Magi had to 
make the most of rather scanty material. In my 
former paper I thought it necessary to explain why 
Asmodteus in Tobit was rather Lust than Hate ; 
but it seems needless trouble. Asmodseus kills 


Sarah s husbands, and his motive may just as well 
have been the one as the other, if not rather both. 

It remains to comment on the only two considera 
tions which might militate against our attributing 
Tobifs original to the Magian stratum of Parsism. 
There is just one point in Tobit which seems to point 
to Zarathushtra s own contribution, the doctrine oi 
the Amesha Spenta. Raphael is one of "the seven 
angels who stand in the presence and go in before 
the glory of the Lord" (12 15 *). But in Zara 
thushtra s own system the Amesha were six\ and 
there is reason to suspect Semitic influence in tht 
change to seven, requiring the addition of eithei 
Ahura himself at their head which is expresslj 
excluded by the language of Tob. 12 15 , where "th( 
Holy One " is added or Sraosha at the lower enc 
of their company. We may even plead that th< 
" seven Igigi," who accompany Assara Mazas ii 
the Assyrian inscription discussed elsewhere (p. 31) 
show a very early trace of this contamination. I 
so, the original of Tobit is still Magian, and nee< 
have no really Zoroastrian elements at all. 

This is confirmed by a very notable omission in th 
Book, which at first seemed to me a difficulty. Ther 
is not a sign of any eschatology. Those who hav< 
dated theBook in the second century A.D. improbabl 
enough must assume that it is of Sadducee origir 
If purely Jewish, and sufficiently early, its complet 
freedom from any outlook on a future life would b 
no difficulty. But if it is based on a Magian origins 
we have an equally good reason for expecting n 
eschatology. In Parsism, beyond all reasonabl 
doubt, there was a doctrine of immortality in th 


:arliest Iranian stratum, cognate with that in the 
^eda ; and Zarathushtra enlarged and enhanced it 
ill it became the very centre of the Religion. There 
s no element in it in which we can see the smallest 
eason to suspect a Magian origin. Indeed, as 
3oklen points out (Pars. Esch.,102), the extraordinary 
:are the Magi took to destroy the corpse is (as ancient 
deas go) in itself a presumption against their having 
>riginally cherished any hope of a resurrection. 1 

1 As a serious offset against the approval of the editor of Tobit 
i the Oxford Apocrypha, published while this book was passing 
hrough the press, I have to record Bishop Casartelli s dissent, in an 
nteresting letter to me (June 6, 1 91 3). I cite the main part in full : 

" The book strikes me rather as being of purely Jewish origin, 
>ut certainly written in a Mazdean [Magian you would say] milieu, 
aid directly pointed against prevailing Mazdean ideas and practices 
:is found all round. Hence the insistence on earth-burial as even 
i sacred work, directed against the ideas of nasus, corpse-pollution, 
itc. The very dog seems brought in as the purely domestic house 
log the " harmless, necessary " dog, stripped of all the super- 
ititious ideas of the Sag-did. The old father is blinded by a 
iwallow s dung, i.e. probably by a bird belonging to Ahura Mazda s 
ealm : physical evil therefore is not merely a creature of Angro- 
Mainyus; and so on. I think this theme could be plausibly 
A-orked out." 

In a further letter (June 13) he adds: "I did not mean to 
suggest any very overt polemic in Tobit. It might have been 
ill the more telling if merely implied in the redaction of the book, 
ipart altogether from the question of its origin." 

It will be noticed that Dr Casartelli practically holds to Kohut s 
dew, to which I have referred above, adding to it a tempting 
suggestion in his interpretation of the swallows. But were they 
swallows ? Jerome thought so, but <rTpov6ia is indifferent warrant 
where the precise ^eX^oves was available. ~2,Tpov6ia is a rather 
general word for small birds, many of whom would belong to the 
Creation of Ahura : here evidence is conflicting. Herodotus (below, 
|>. 398) puts birds indiscriminately into the evil creation, while 
Plutarch does the reverse (p. 400). 



The Earth. Ere Babylon was dust, 

The Magus Zoroaster, my dead child, 
Met his own image walking in the garden. 
That apparition, sole of men, he saw. 
For know there are two worlds of life and death : 
One that which thou beholdest ; but the other 
Is underneath the grave, where do inhabit 
The shadows of all forms that think and live, 
Till death unite them and they part no more. 

SHELLEY, Prometheus Unbound. 

THE most conspicuous of all the conceptions o 
Parsism which do not owe their origin to tin 
Founder, or receive his seal, is that of the Fravashi 
the spiritual counterpart of a man. Since it i 
beyond question earlier than Zarathushtra, ant 
very obviously survived the silence with which h> 
treated it, we are justified in bringing it within ou 
survey. And since it has had large influence outsid* 
its original home, and in its history and developmen 
is of high importance in the philosophy of religion 
it does not seem to be disturbing the balance of thi 
course if we give the subject a special investigation 
in some detail. 

Persian religion claims, of course, no monopoly i) 
the notion that every man has a " double," spiritua 
or embodied. The Egyptian Ka is a conceptioi 



clearly independent but decidedly kin. The Roman 
Genius, as we shall see, stands very near to the 
Fravashi, and the Greek ayaOos Sai/uwv not much 
? urther away. In Babylonian hymns the phrase 
my god " or " my goddess " is said by Cheyne 
EB, 5440) to be " equivalent to the worshipper s 
jetter self." A genetic relation has been more or 
ess probably claimed for more than one of these, 
[n medieval thought the figure of the Guardian 
Angel developed one side of the conception. The 
rther side, that of an embodied Doppelganger, pro- 
iuced in popular legend a curious variety of fancies, 
fn the lines quoted at the head of this Lecture, 
Shelley tells of Zoroaster meeting his own Fravashi, 
is we translate him ; and he goes on with words that 
lescribe the Parsi conception with remarkable exact- 
less, 1 showing that he had somehow got hold of 
rood sources of information as to Oriental lore. The 
dea has been used with tremendous power as an 
illegory in Stevenson s Dr Jekijll and Mr Hyde. 
N T ot less effective as an allegory, and told with 
iterary grace that fits it to be named even with 
:hat masterpiece, is Mr Canton s story of " The 
King Orgulous" in the Child s Book of Saints. 
These very miscellaneous parallels, ranging from 

1 That Zoroaster remained " sole of men " in this experience is 
-hallenged by Goethe, who tells us in Dichtung und Wahrheit of his 
neeting an apparition of himself on horseback. Indeed, Shelley 
lad read a similar story in an Italian book, which so impressed him 
;hat his friends one night found him walking in sleep and shrieking 
or terror in a dream which repeated the story. (I owe the parallels 
n this note to my friend Mr Canton, whom I consulted as to the 
xistence of legends supplying a basis for his own conception.) 
)n Shelley s sources, see above, p. 92. 


high literature down to the child-like fancies of a 
savage about his shadow, help to illustrate the 
great variety of applications which this simple idea 
has had in human history. We may proceed now 
to trace its origins and development within the 
limits of Parsism. 1 

The Fravashis are beyond doubt in the first instance 
ancestor spirits. Whether this is their sole origin 
as Soderblom seems to hold, will be discussed latei 
in our inquiry, which may start from the feature; 
which clearly attach themselves to this primitive 
conception. We should, however, have before u; 
from the first the fact that the Fravashi takes ifr 
place as one of five souls belonging to men living 
dead, or unborn. Thus : 

We adore the vitality, the self, the perception, the sou 
and the Fravashi 2 of righteous (asavan) men and wome 
that understand the Religion, who in present, future, c 
past win the victory, who have won the victory for Ash 
(Yt 13 155 ). 

1 Special literature on the subject may be mentioned. Prof, f 
Soderblom s monograph, Les Fravashis (in RHR, 1899), is the mo 
important, but it only deals with one of the two aspects. So do< 
Prof. E. Lehmann in ERE, i. 454 f. (" Ancestor- worship and cult 
the dead (Iranian) "). I may refer also to my forthcoming articl 
" Fravashi," in ERE, and my paper, " It is his Angel," in Journ. < 
Theol. Studies, 1902, pp. 514-527, in which the possibility of Biblic 
analogues is discussed necessarily passed over here. 

2 These five souls, as we might call them, seem to be independe 
of the fivefold division of human personality in the Pahlavi boo! 
An unedited text from the Great Bundahish is thus given by Darn 
steter, Le ZA, ii. 500 : 

Auhrmazd a compose 1 homme de cinq Elements le corps (tan), la vie (/a 
1 ame (ravdn), la forme (dtvinak), et le frdhar [fravashi]. Le corps est 
partie materielle. La vie est I el^ment lie au vent [two illegible words folio 
L arue est ce qui, dans le corps, avec le secours des sens (bod), entend, vi 


The Fravashi is the highest part, the divine and 
mmortal part, of man ; and just as the Trvev/j-a in 
the New Testament is never associated with " un- 
>piritual " men, so in the developed Parsi theology 
;he Fravashi was always, as here, " of the righteous " 
done. Originally, as we shall see, this was only 
jecause ancestor-spirits are manes, " good folks," in 
til sorts of religions. To them in Parsism belonged 
he intercalated last five days of the year, which made 
ip the shortage of twelve thirty-day months, together 
vith the five days preceding these, the " Gatha days." 
The ten, which fell in March, were called Hama- 
(mOmaedaya : the etymology is much disputed. 1 In 
iassanian times the name Farvardigdn " (days) 
iclonging to the Fravashis," appears : in a record 
f the sixth century it is given as (povpSiyav and 
-anslated veKvia (Darmesteter, Le ZA, ii. 503). The 
ccount of this festival given in Albiruni (ed. 1 Sachau, 

parle et connait. La forme (litt. " le miroir, 1 image ") est ce qui est devant 
le Seigneur Auhrmazd. Ces elements out ete crees de telle nature que quand 
sous Faction du demon I homme meurt, le corps retourne a la terre, la vie au 
vent, la forme au soleil, et 1 ame se lie au Frohar, de sorte qu ils ne peuvent 
faire perir 1 ame. 

ie "form" and the body have ejected two of the five spiritual 
ements of the Avestan text. " Vitality/ " soul/ and Fravashi 
e common to the two lists. "Perception" (baoftah) answers to 
d, the senses, through which the soul ("rvan, Pahl. ravdn) " hears, 
es, speaks, and knows." 

A triple division appears in the Dinkart account of the Prophet s 
itrance into this world (Jackson, Zoroaster, 24 f.). The Glory and 
e Fravashi I deal with together below (p. 275). The third element 
the "Substantial Nature " (gohar), or material essence, which was 
ought to Zarathushtra s parents, combined with the elements of 
ilk, by the agency of the twin Amshaspands presiding over Water 
d Plants. 

1 See Soderblom, Les Fravashis (henceforth cited as Sod.), 5 ; Bar- 
tolomae, Zum AirWb, 243. 



p. 210) may be quoted, before we go back to Avestan 
material : 

The last five days of this month [Aban], the first of 
which is Ashtadh, are called Farwardajan. During this 
time people put food in the halls of the dead and drink 
on the roofs of the houses, believing that the spirits of 
their dead during these days come out from the places of 
their reward or their punishment, that they go to the 
dishes laid out for them, imbibe their strength and suck 
their taste. They fumigate their houses with juniper, 
that the dead may enjoy its smell. The spirits of the 
pious men dwell among their families, children, and rela 
tions, and occupy themselves with their affairs, although 
invisible to them. 

Regarding these days there has been among the Persian- 
a controversy. According to some, they are the last fiv; 
days of the month Aban ; according to others, they are thi 
Andergah, i.e. the five Epagomenae which are adde 
between Aban and Adhar-mah. When the controvert 
and dispute increased, they adopted all (ten) days i 
order to establish the matter on a firm basis, as this 
one of the chief institutes of their religion, and becau 
they wished to be careful, since they were unable 
ascertain the real facts of the case. So they called tl 
first five days the first Farwardajan, and the followii 
five days the second Farwardajan ; the latter, however, 
more important than the former. 

The first day of these Epagomenae is the first day of t 
sixth Gahanbar, in which God created man. It is call 
Hama$patmaedhaemgah. i 

There are some obviously late elements embedd 
in this mostly very primitive ritual, or rather in t 
interpretation of it which Albiruni reports as cum 
in his time (1000 A.D.). The connexion of t 
Gahanbars with days of creation is not of Avesl 
antiquity, and may be due to Semitic influence i 
the Sassanian period. More important for < 


present purpose is the suggestion that the souls 
returned from heaven and hell. This may be only 
Albiruni s own inference, for it is highly improbable 
:hat Parsis would admit the possibility of the 
Fravashis coming from hell. Indeed, even their 
oming from heaven is incongruous enough, when we 
lote the way the ritual provides for their assumed 

ts, with food and clothing and shelter. The fes- 
;ival is a manifest survival, as inconsistent with the 
ligher religion as the corresponding implications of 
All Souls Day are with the Christianity professed by 
nany backward communities observing it in Europe. 
Uoderblom (p. 21 f.) collects sundry indications that 
he Fravashis as souls of the dead were conceived to 

ll in places which cannot be brought into agree- 
nent with the Zarathushtrian teaching that the 
ighteous soul at death passed away from earth 
Itogether into the heaven of Ahura Mazdah. He 
lenies (p. 42) the Avestan character of the doctrine 
hat the Fravashi (of the living or the dead or the 
inborn) dwells with Ahura ; and he even questions 
he common assumption that unbelievers have no 
ravashi, derived from the standing title " fravashis of 
he pious" (p. 66). * The fact is manifest that the 
yhole conception is antecedent to any ethical system 
f rewards and punishments after death. Our limits 
xclude discussion as to various later efforts to 
econcile these ideas with the religion which failed 
o drive out the hoary superstition, even as 
Christianity has failed in a large part of the Christian 

1 Note Soderblom s quotation from the Saddar Bundahish (see 
ie reference in Justi s Handbuch, p. 200), showing that the Fravashi 
an unbeliever goes to hell with his soul and his baoBah. 


world. There is no need to attempt any reconcilia 
tion for the age of the Yashts ; for we have seen 
already that the religion of the Yashts is frankly 
independent of Zarathushtra and far older than 
his reform, to which it only yields an occasional 

Some quasi-physical characteristics of the Fravashis 
may be noted at this point. There seems a reason 
able probability that Fravashis are actually pictured 
on well-known monuments of Iran. A Sassanian 
bas-relief (Sod., 68 n. 9 ) appears to have the name of 
Ahura Mazdah. We are encouraged to think that 
the winged figure of the upper part of a man, with 
a flowing robe, before which Darius is represented 
standing at Persepolis, is meant for the deity of his 
worship. But since there is evidence, especially from 
Herodotus (see p. 391), that the Persians tolerated no 
images of the gods, we are justified in recognising the 
Fravashi of Ahura. Wings are indeed expressly 
suggested by the Farvardin Yasht itself (Yt 13 70 ), 
and agree with the general conception of these genii 
as aerial and swift. Dr Casartelli (The Religion of 
the Great Kings, p. 21) prefers to regard these 
figures as directly representing Ahura, observing 
that " there is not the slightest trace [of a belief in 
fravashis} in the text of the inscriptions." It seems 
to me that silence here does not prove much, and 
I would rather keep in mind the express assertion of 

We turn to the more fundamental matters raised by 
the great Yasht, and deal first with the important 
section (vv. 49 fF.) where the Fravashis are most con 
spicuously nothing but ancestor-spirits. The section 


has a few snatches of verse, but its material is so obvi 
ously primitive that we need not trouble to ask the 
date of its composition. During the whole of the 
ten days the section knows nothing of the distinction 
Albirimi draws the Fravashis go to and fro asking 
for worship, just as other Yazatas do in the Yashts, 
and promise blessing to the house of him who will 
thus adore them. The worshipper must have " meat 
and garments " in his hand, for the souls returning to 
their old haunts need to be fed and warmed, just 
as in similar feasts of the dead elsewhere : see Frazer, 
Golden Bough", iii. 86-89. 

In several passages of the Later Avesta, if our 
texts may be trusted, there is an express identifica 
tion of the souls of the dead with the fravashis. 
Thus Ys 16 7 (prose) ^anvaitis axahe vardzo yazamaide 
yd/iu i ristanam u rvqno xuyenti (I. myente] yfl asaunqm 
JravaSayo, " We adore the sunny abodes of Asha, 
wherein the souls of the dead rest, which are the 
Fravashis of the righteous." So Ys 26 7 and 7 1 23 , 
which repeat the words that identify them. It 
must of course be allowed that these three crucial 
words might be claimed as a patent gloss by any 
one concerned to do so. This applies also to the 
fragment (Westergaard, 10 39 ) cited by Bartholomae 
(AirWT), 992) among other passages where souls 
and fravashis are named together, under conditions 
which suggest a very close association, though of 
course not proving identity. The fragment with a 
little manipulation of text would fall into verse ; 
and it should perhaps be noted that the three words 
under discussion make a self-contained verse. It 
runs thus : 


Of what origin are the souls of the dead, which are the 
Fravashis of the righteous ? From Spenta Mainyu is their 
origin. 1 

"The spirit returns to God who gave it." We may 
compare further Yt 13 74 , which, however, is prose. 
Here the " souls " (uruno) of animals are adored 
tame, wild, of water, earth and air, etc. ; and, at the 
end, " the Fravashis we adore." The souls of 
animals would not be brought in unless identified 
with the Fravashis who are the subject of the Yasht. 
This, however, attaches itself to another aspect of 
the Fravashis, the frankly animistic element which 
accounts for the doctrine that all sentient beings of 
the good creation at any rate have their Fravashi, 
including even Ahura himself. To this I return 

The doctrine that Fravashi and Soul united at 
death will, as Prof. Jackson remarks (Grundriss, ii. 
643), account for a parallelism of treatment which 
arose from the prehistoric ancestor-worship widely 
current in the proethnic Indo-European period. On 
this it will suffice to refer to the great article on 
" Aryan Religion " by Prof. Otto Schrader, in 
Hastings Encyclopaedia. 

Before passing from these features of primitive 
ancestor- worship, we may note that in the mythology 
of our own Germanic peoples, at the other end of the 
Indo-European area, there is a similar association 
of intercalary days at the end of the year with an 

1 It may be noted that in Bund I 8 (SEE, v. 5) Auharmazd creates 
all immaterial beings prior to the creation of matter. This 
belongs to the first trimillennium of the world-age, on which 
see p. 403 f. 


annual feast of the dead. The Germanic Kleinjahr of 
twelve days was added to the twelve lunar months of 
354 days, instead of the 360 days ; and the Germanic 
year ended when the sun began to turn northwards 
after the solstice, and not with the vernal equinox. 
The Roman Parentalia celebration, from Feb. 13 
to Feb. 21, stands near the end of the last month 
in the old Roman year, and recalls the Farvardigan 
by its character : Dr J. B. Carter ( The Religion of 
Numa, p. 16) notes that it "was calm and dignified, 
and represented all that was least superstitious and 
fearful in the generally terrifying worship of the 
dead." At the same time was the Greek celebration 
of the Anthesteria. Miss Harrison (Prolegomena, 54) 
remarks on the reason for the placating of ghosts 
when the activities of agriculture were about to 
begin, and the powers of the world underground 
were needed to stimulate fertility. 

A conception comparable in some respects to 
that of the Fravashi, which is significantly absent 
from the Gathas, is the daend or "self" "die 
Gesammtheit der seelischen und religiose Individu- 
alitat," as Bartholomae defines it (AirWb, 66(5), of 
which the Gathas are full. It goes with the man 
after death to heaven or hell. It is expressly dis 
tinguished from the urvan (soul) in Ys 45 2 , where the 
" holier " of the Twin Spirits says to the " enemy " 
(angra) : 

noit nd mana noit savgha noit -)(ratavd 
ndedd varana noit u^Sd naedd syaoQand 
noit daena noit urvqno hacainte. 

"Neither our thoughts, nor our doctrines, nor our 
wills, nor our beliefs, nor our words or deeds, nor 


our individualities, nor our souls can agree." Zara- 
thushtra promises that his own daend shall stand by 
that of his follower at the last ( Ys 45 n , on which see 
ERPP, 106). But a crucial difference between the 
daend and the fravashi lies in the fact that the bad 
man as well as the good has a daend : see, for example, 
Ys 49 4 . The conception was probably suggested to 
Zarathushtra by his own philosophic analysis of man s 
personality : if he knew of the fravashi, apart from 
its connexion with ancestor-spirits, he presumably 
used another word to emphasise the fact that each 
man had his own individual responsibility, and an 
immortal ego within him which would pass on to 
weal or woe. The fravashi was too much entangled 
with mythology to suit him, and he had no use for 
a system which would not apply to all men. It 
is indeed not impossible that the name and the 
thing were hardly current in his part of Iran. The 
strong argument for the alternative view is that we 
have the word frav asi once in the Haptanghaiti: Ys 
37 3 , asdunqm fravasls narqmca ndirinqmca yazamaide, 
" we adore the fravashis of the followers of Asha, 
both men and women." On the whole this is prob 
ably decisive ; and we should regard the daend as 
Zarathushtra s deliberate substitute for the fravashi 
on its ancestor-spirit side, from which, of course, 
comes its characteristic limitation to the righteous. 
It is, however, the other element in the conception 
which comes nearest to the daend, that of the 
"double" or representative in the spirit world. If 
this was known to Zarathushtra, we might suppose 
that he rejected it in favour of a deeper and more 
reasonable psychology. But, after all, the difference 


between daend and fravashi is more conspicuous than 
their rather superficial resemblance. Zarathushtra s 
concept has nothing suggesting a primitive super 
stition ; and a thinker of his calibre did not need the 
hint which such a superstition might be supposed to 
provide. The obvious presence of two distinct and 
somewhat discordant elements in the fravashis of the 
Later Avesta would (apart from the features noted 
below) most naturally be interpreted on the lines of 
our general theory, by assuming the Magi responsible 
for everything in the fravashi that does not arise 
from ancestor-cultus. And since we have no other 
indication that the Magi were known to Zarathushtra, 1 
there would be thus a strong presumption that his 
daend was an independent idea. 2 But if its resem 
blance is thought too close to be fortuitous, we must 
assume that the complex of the fravashi was built up 
among the Iranians of Zarathushtra s milieu before 
his time. This involves our making the most of 
Indo-European parallels to the fravashi on this side, 

1 Me iudice, of course : see p. 197 f. First-rate authorities have 
pronounced for the association of Zarathushtra with the Magi cf. 
Jackson, Zoroaster, 6-8. 

2 The question whether there really are two distinct words in 
the Gathic daend is not yet finally cleared up. Bartholomae makes 
two distinct entries, but appends a note which seems to betray a 
wish to link them. Prof. Jackson tells me he has long felt doubt 
about severing them. " It seems to me," he writes, " the idea back 
of the whole word is insight, and so conscience and religion. " 
That means, I presume, deriving it from the root seen in Skt 
dhl, dhyd, "see," "think," Av. 2 day, "see," which is Geldner s view 
(rejected by Bartholomae, AirWb, 665). The coincidence that both 
vords are scanned as trisyllables, and go back accordingly to an 
Aryan *dhayina, strengthens the suspicion that an ultimate unity 

: light to be found. Soderblom (p. 52) would make " personality " 
I he earlier meaning, "religion " the later. 


especially the Greek ayaOo? $at/m(*)v, and still more the 
Roman genius. In my paper already referred to 
(p. 525 n.) I observed: 

It is remarkable how great the general similarity is 
between the Genius and the Fravashi. The Genius, with 
his female counterpart the luno, is the special patron of 
birth, a function which markedly belongs to the fravashis. 
Both seem to combine the ideas of an inborn part of the 
individual and a power which watches over him. And 
both from belonging to individuals acquire relations to 
communities, the Genius very markedly. See Wissowa, 
Religion und Kultus der Homer (in Iwan v. Miiller s Hand- 
buch der Jclassischen Altertumwissenschaft, v. 4), pp. 154 ff. 

That both genius and iuno were closely connected 
with birth is a point to which I must return. Genius 
carries the connexion in its obvious etymology ; nor 
iuno less so, when explained (after Brugmann) by 
comparison with Skt yosa, gen. yosnds, "young 
woman." Restricting ourselves to genius, because of 
the rarity of its female counterpart, we recall at once 
the familiar description in Horace : 

scit Genius, natale comes qui temperat astrum, 
naturae deus humanae, mortalis in unum 
quodque caput, voltu mutabilis, albus an ater. 

(Epp. 9 ii. ii. 187-9.) 

Orelli s note on this passage may be consulted foi 
an excellent collection of classical illustrations. Th( 
fullest account is in Censorinus De Die Natali, ii. am 
in., where among other features is emphasised th< 
fact that the Genius is " deus cuius in tutela u 
quisque natus est vivit." This represents a late 
stage than the definition of Varro, " animus rationalis, 
and that implied in Horace, who makes the Geniu 
a man s self or double rather than his guardian ange 


Since, as we shall see, there is a similar emergence of 
the idea of a tutelary spirit in later stages of Avestan 
doctrine, we may suppose that part of the develop 
ment proceeded independently on parallel lines. But 
there is a case for regarding the starting-points as his 
torically connected. 

The two strains which can be with fair certainty 
detected in the Avestan fravashi doctrine may be 
conjecturally accounted for by recognising a second 
original element entirely distinct from the ancestor- 
spirit. On this I may repeat what I wrote in 1902 
(op. cit., 526) : 

The idea seems to me essentially identical with that of 
the External Soul, expounded very fully by Dr J. G. 
Frazer in The Golden BougW, iii. 351-446. It is shown 
there that primitive peoples in various parts of the world 
imagine the soul or life of a human being to reside some 
where outside him. Sometimes it is no further away than 
his hair, but in a great many cases it lives in some distant 
object animal, plant, or inanimate thing which must be 
destroyed before the man s life can be taken. In a large 
class of folk-tales embodying this belief, the life of a giant 
or a witch is safely stored in some absolutely inaccessible 
place, and the hero s triumph lies in his finding and 
destroying it, generally by the help of friendly animals. 
It is unnecessary to say that the Magian fravashi is a 
conception immeasurably loftier than this na ive savage 
notion though, if we are inclined to despise the latter too 
heartily, it is well to remember that our German and Keltic 
ancestors must have held it in all good faith centuries after 
the Magi had risen to their development of this primitive 
germ. It seems just the kind of idea which the speculative 
East would naturally evolve out of such a primitive 

Upon this theory, as repeated in a few sentences in 
the account of Yt 13 in my ERPP, p. 145, Mr N. W. 


Thomas made the following criticism in the Review 
of Theology and Philosophy for March 1912 : 

The Fravashi Dr Moulton identifies with the External 
Soul ; but the External Soul, though it may not be the 
only one which a man possesses, is at any rate the one with 
which his life is wrapped up, otherwise there would be no 
object in taking steps to hide it. A much nearer parallel 
may be found among some negro peoples, who hold that 
a soul (ehi) lives in heaven and represents the man there, 
while at the same time a second ehi dwells on earth. When 
the man dies the two ehi exchange their functions in the 
next incarnation of the personality. 

I am greatly obliged to Mr Thomas for this 
parallel, and I need not perhaps discuss the question 
whether it may after all represent a notion essentially 
kindred to that of the External Soul. In any case 
I only seek the remote origin of the Fravashi in the 
primitive conception to which I have referred. It 
seems to me still possible enough that the idea of a 
man s life as resident in some external object might 
develop into that of the fravashi ; and the thought of 
terminating the life by destroying the external object 
might drop away, or even give an impulse to the 
conception of a guardian spirit. 

More important for my purpose than this discussion 
of remote origins is the problem of the meaning of 
the name. The usual interpretation is that fravasi 
comes from fra + 2 var (AirWb, 1360 f.), to choose, 
especially to profess a religion. That would make 
the nomen actionis mean " confession " or " belief/ 
Side by side with this the proper name Fravarti 
((frpaoprw) in Old Persian was assumed to stand as a 
(dubiously formed) nomen agentis, " Confessor." The 
name is of considerable antiquity. One Fravartish 


appears on the Behistan Inscription as a pretender 
who raised his standard in Media, and was ultimately 
captured at Raga. More than a century earlier we 
have in the record of Herodotus a Phraortes, son and 
successor of Deioces, founder of the Median kingdom. 
There has been a tendency to hail this name as an 
anticipation of our Saxon Edward s title : if so, we 
might be curious as to the creed he or rather his 
father " confessed." But no one seems to have 
noticed that the father of Deioces bore the same 
name (Hdt., i. 96), which rather spoils the implica 
tion. It is useless to ask what form of religious zeal 
prompted the giving of this unknown person s name, 
well back in the eighth century. Bartholomae 
(AirWb, 991) calls it a probable Kurzncme 1 connected 
with fravaxi or wlthfraorati, which latter does mean 
"profession of faith." The choice of the former 
would bring the proper name also under the " eig. 
Bed.? " which sums up succinctly his interpretation of 
fravasi on its etymological side. I cannot feel satis 
fied with any account of the name Fravartish that 
brings it into connexion with fravasi, the difference 
between the two formally identical words lying, I am 
convinced, deeper than the divergence of gender. 2 

1 Darmesteter, Le ZA, ii. 504, also treats Fravartis as a Kurzname, 
for drigu-fravarii, "qui nourrit le pauvre." I cite this only as an 
illustration, for Bartholomae can hardly be wrong in rejecting it. 
It seems that Darmesteter, like others, started to explain it as a 
royal name, overlooking Phraortes inconvenient grandfather. 

2 There is a plausible parallel in the double meaning of Gathic 
dacna (see above, p. 265) if it is to be regarded as one word. But, as 
we saw, the development of meaning there must be very different 
if we are to save the unity of the word. Prof. Jackson (Grundriss, 
ii. 643) mentions another fra-var "protect," due to Haug, which seems 
to be much more hopeful than the usual etymology. It involves 


In my ERPP (p. 142) I tentatively suggested deriva 
tion of fravaM from the root *var, to impregnate. 
The meaning " birth - promotion " attaches itself to 
one of the primary functions that the Fravashis 
perform. Some quotations may be given to illustrate 
this. In Ys 23 1 the formula of adoration of the 
Fravashis ends with yci bardftrisva puQrc vlSarayan 
paiti vdrote apara iriOdnto, " which preserve sons con 
ceived in the womb that they die not." This is 
presumably quoted from Yt 13 11 , where Ahura declares 
that it is by the Fravashis splendo.ur and glory that 
he preserves the unborn sons from death : four verses 
later he says that by them " women conceive 
(vdranvainti, from 4 t> ar) sons, . . . have easy delivery, 
. . . become pregnant." This last is a verse quotation. 
In Yt 10 3 they give vigorous offspring to those who 
do not deceive Mithra (or " break pledges "). The 
phrase of Yt 13 11 and Ys 23 1 is recurrent, and evidently 
describes a pre-eminent characteristic. Now ancestor- 
spirits in a very early stage of human society are 
believed to be actually responsible for the pregnancy 
of women : cf. J. G. Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, 
i. 191, ii. 508 ; Adonis, Attis, Osiris z , 76 ff. It seems, 
therefore, at least possible that their name may have 
been at first a special cult-title of the ancestor-spirits 
as the powers that continue the race. It will of 
course be an old name, and its later connotation may 
well have been coloured by popular etymology, or by 
the influence of a distinct word (such as the original 
of the proper name Fravartis}. I do not put forward 

making the idea of a "guardian angel " primitive which is, however, 
rather doubtful. King Phraortes might then find a greater analogue 
in our English history six centuries after the Confessor ! 


my suggestion with any wish to dogmatise : I only 
urge tentatively that we might reasonably expect the 
etymology to reflect what seems to be a most 
conspicuous function. 1 

The Sanskrit translation of the A vesta (by 
Neriosengh) has vrddkih, " growth," as the rendering 
of fravasi. Whether this depends upon the certainly 
wrong connexion with va\s or not, the equivalent 
reproduces a very central feature of the Avestan 
conception. There is a constant association with 
Waters and Plants, the special provinces of the twin 
Amshaspands Haurvatat and Ameretat. In Ys 44 4 
Zarathushtra distinctly assigns the maintenance of 
Waters and Plants to Ahura himself, who naturally 
works through his Amshaspands ; and in this arrange 
ment we may perhaps see his attempt to supersede 
the Fravashis. The river-genius Anahita, who is 
imported (see p. 238 f.) from non- Aryan cultus, inde- 

1 Before leaving the problem, I might refer to Sod., 57, where 
the possibility of the meaning "protector" is noted, and described 
as " a euphemism to designate the dangerous and powerful dead " : 
the suggestion is assigned to my colleague Prof. Arwid Johannson. 
There is also a reference to Justi s explanation that Jra-vart is the 
source, in the sense "pre-existent." (I cannot trace Soderblom s 
attribution of this to Haug, who (Essays 4 , 206) interprets " pro 
tector.") Soderblom further cites Prof. K. F. Johansson of Upsala 
for an explanation depending on vart, "turn " : " fravasi serait alors 
ce qui se detourne, ce qui s eloigne, ce qui part." This does not 
seem to me probable. Prof. Jackson has " not come to a satis 
factory solution of the problem," but he tells me he has " long 
since practically abandoned the idea of fravasi being connected 
with the radical for confession. " Following up a hint of his 
to look at pra-vart in Skt, I notice the idea of "originating," 
" producing, 7 among its derivatives. But the multitude of alterna 
tives makes me more dubious as to the possibility of arriving at 
a solution. 


pendently undertakes these functions of promoting 
birth and growth. 1 

" The more I have studied the subject," writes 
Prof. Jackson to me, " the stronger becomes my feel 
ing that the idea of pre-existence and continuance is a 
fundamental one in connexion with the Fravashis. . . . 
The pre-existence idea would make clear your point 
about the part played by the Fravashis at birth. It 
is natural, of course, that they should have such a 
role, as the fravasi then becomes embodied in human 
form. . . . The point is right, whatever view one may 
hold about the etymology." Without venturing to 
settle the vexed question whether the hen or the egg 
has priority, we may logically assume that to establish 
the pre-existence of the Fravashis is very important 
before we can recognise them as birth-spirits. The 
doctrine is very conspicuous in the Pahlavi books, 
as in the Bundahish (SBE, v. 149), where a world- 

1 It is curious to notice that among the very few divine names 
in Greece forming compounds in -Swpos or -Soros stands the river- 
name Ka<io-os, which belongs to no less than three streams. It 
seemed to me possible that this fact, which struck me in reading 
again the " Nicareta " Inscription from Orchomenus, with the name 
Kac^to-dScopos, might attest a primitive connexion of rivers with the 
promotion of birth. On this Dr J. G. Frazer kindly writes to me 
as follows (May 31, 1913): "Your explanation of Ka^to-dSwpos is 
very interesting and, I think, highly probable, but I cannot supply 
you with any parallel names formed from rivers. But in The Magic 
Art, vol. ii., pp. l6l sq., I have given some evidence of the Greek 
belief in the power of rivers to marry women. And in regard to 
Cephisodorus it is worth noting that according to a local legend a 
certain Eteocles was a son of the river Cephisus (the Boeotian), and 
that hence he was called by the poets Cephisades (Pausanias, ix. 
34 9 ). Another case of a person fathered on a river was the mythical 
Platsea,, who was said to be a daughter of the river Asopus, though 
the sceptical Pausanias refused to believe it (Paus. ix. H**-)." 


period is postulated during which the Fravashis exist 
alone, before any material creation. 1 As noted below, 
on the locus classicus in Plutarch (p. 403). Theopompus 
seems to have been ignorant of this first trimillen- 
nium, which was probably not older than Sassanian 
theology. But there is sufficient Avestan warrant 
for the doctrine that the Fravashis exist before 
the material creations with which they are linked. 
Thus Visp II 7 speaks of "all the holy (asavan] 
Fravashis, belonging to holy men dead, living, un 
born, men that reform (the world), men that shall 
deliver it (saosyanto}" Yt 13 17 establishes a rule 
of precedence : 

The most powerful among the Fravashis . . . are those 
of the men of the primitive law 2 or those of the unborn 
men that reform the world, that shall deliver it. Of the 
rest, the Fravashis of the living holy are more powerful 
than those of the dead. 3 

The whole stanza is in verse, and its evident antiquity 
will serve to prove the present thesis without multi 
plying citations. Note that there is no hint of 
metempsychosis here. The Fravashi exists before 

1 We may recall also the statement in the Bundahish (ii. 10, 11) 
that before creating, man Ahura offered the Fravashis the choice 
between remaining in the spiritual world eternally and coming 
down to become incarnate and join in the battle against the demons. 
They chose the latter, knowing that the strife would end in the 
annihilation of evil. 

2 The first teachers of the Religion. 

8 For the idea of the Fravashi of a living man one is tempted to 
:juote Tennyson (In Memoriam, 44) : 

If such a dreamy touch should fall, 

O turn thee round, resolve the doubt ; 
My guardian angel will speak out 
In that high place, and tell thee all. 



the soul with which it is one day to be connected ; 
but the whole theory would be thrown into disorder 
if it were successively identified with various human 
personalities. Precedence among Fravashis is strictly 
in accord with that of their earthly counterparts. 
Thus, in a prose passage : 

We adore the Fravashis of house, of family, of clan, of 
district, of Zarathushtrotema. 1 (Yt 13 21 .) 

This is the familiar series nmdna, vis, zantu, dahyu 
which survives as late as the Manicha?an MSS from 
Turfan, in the same order. 2 According to Bartholomae 
these adjectives, nmdnya, etc., denote " zur Gottheit 
Nmanya (etc.) gehorig." We naturally compare the 
disputed phrase viOibix bagaibi^ in Darius s Persepolis 
inscription, 3 which Bartholomae (Zum AirWb, 227), 
Tolman, and others now render " with the gods of 
the royal house," the Oeol ftaa-iXr/ioi of Herodotus. 
This provides for the conception of a Fravashi 
attached to a community, analogous to the "princes" 
of nations in Daniel and the " angels of the churches " 
in the Apocalypse. 4 Another good passage is Ys 
23 1 , where Fravashis are adored 

which were in the beginning, those of houses, of families, 
of clans, of districts. 

These passages are of special importance when we 
examine the possibility that the " angels " or "princes" 
of communities in Jewish or Christian writings may 
originate in Parsi influence. In this I incline to the 
affirmative answer, not considering Clemen s reply to 

1 See p. 118. 

2 Miiller, pp. 18 and 24. 3 Dar. Pers. d 3 (Tolman, p. 36) 
4 See my paper in Jouru. of Theol. Stud., 1902, pp. 514-6. 


Stave sufficient. 1 But to discuss this would anticipate 
what belongs to the next Lecture. My present 
demonstration that the Fravashis have functions 
that take them very far beyond the limitations of 
ancestor-spirits may be finally clinched by yet another 
fact about them. The yazata had his fravashi just 
as much as the asavan on earth. Even that of Ahura 
Mazdah is often adored (see, for instance, Yt 13 80 ). 
This is another parallel to the use of the Latin genius, 
which the gods possessed as well as men. 

The suggestion that a conception akin to that of 
the External Soul may account for one strain in the 
Fravashi prompts a brief digression to show that a 
more or less allied Avestan notion, that of the 
X v arjnah or " glory," has features of the same kind. 
The passages of the Dinkart described in Jackson s 
Zoroaster, p. 24 f., tell of the Glory descending from 
the eternal light to enter the house where the mother 
of Zarathushtra is to be born, uniting with her until 
at the age of fifteen she brings forth her son. Mean 
while the archangels Vohumanah and Asha have 
conveyed the Fravashi to earth, in a stem of the 
Haoina plant, which in Ys 9 13 is specially connected 
with the Prophet s birth : the myth distantly re 
sembles Prometheus bringing the Fire in the fennel 
stalk. The relation of plants to fravashis here 
appears again. The Glory is the subject of Yt 19, 
one of the most important; and the Q.P. farnah, 
found in well-known names of the Achasmenian age, 
s evidence of its prominence in Iranian thought. 

1 See his Primitive Christianity, p. 94 (E.T.), and my paper just 
ited : the latter seems to be among the few English contributions 
o the subject which have escaped Prof. Clemen s eye. 


It was a mythical talisman which belonged essentially 
to the royal house of Iran, though it vanished with 
Yima s sin, flying away in its three successive 
manifestations in the form of a bird : we are re 
minded that the Fravashis also are winged. Its 
location in the sea Vouru-kasha resembles stories told 
of an external soul in other Indo-European countries. 
We cannot bring evidence that the loss of the Glory 
produced death, for Yima survived to be ultimately 
sawn in twain by Spityura (Yt 19 46 ). But the 
persistent efforts of Frangrasyan (Afrasiab), the foe 
of the Iranian monarchy, to seize it in the depths 
of Vouru-kasha read very much like the folk-stories 
that tell of the hunt for the soul. In Yt 5 42 and 
19 56 ff. the prayer of Frangrasyan, " the Turanian 
ruffian," to Anahita, who as the queen of the waters 
might help him, and his thrice-repeated dive into the 
mystic sea after the Glory that " glides " or " waves " 
in its midst, only lead to the refusal of the boon and 
the failure of the Turanian to capture it : the Glory 
can be seized by no sinner. This in its way is some 
thing like the generally asserted impossibility of a 
sinner s possessing a Fravashi. In both Yashts, in a 
phrase that must be old, it is described as " belonging 
to the Aryan people, born and unborn, and to th( 
holy Zarathushtra " ; and its possession would hav( 
enabled the Turanian champion to " rule over all th( 
Karshvars." Turning to the Old Persian, we med 
with the name Vindafarnah CIvra<pepvt]s), describing 
" one who finds the Glory," in antithesis to th< 
Turanian alien from whom it flies. Two persons ar< 
thus named : one a member of Darius s Six who con 
spired with him against Gaumata, the other a Mede (? 


who led an army against a Babylonian rebel. (It 
should be noted that Tolman s text of Bh 3 16 
reads Pd[rsa] instead of Mada, which stands in 
Weissbach-Bang. This would enable us to regard 
the two servants of Darius as one.) There are other 
occurrences of names in -farnah found in Media. 
Justi (Grundriss d. ir. Ph., ii. 408) mentions two 
chieftains Sitirparnu and Iparnu ( = CiOrafarnak or 
Tura-aQepvw and Vifarnah) who were taken captive by 
Esarhaddon, more than a century before Cyrus. It 
may be assumed that the name was current only in 
the ruling classes of the ApfyvTol, the " Aryans " in 
the narrower sense, to whom the Behistan Inscription 
tells us (see p. 60) the god Auramazda belonged. 

Without pursuing the parallel of Fravashi and 
" Glory " too far, I think it may be claimed that 
distinct and independent development of the primi 
tive notion of an External Soul may account for 
each of them ; and in any case the comparison of 
the two as necessary elements in the higher life 
will help us to understand their nature. Both are 
closely connected with the divine Waters compare 
Yt 13 7 - 10 with 19 65 - 69 and the Glory is kept safe in 
the midst of a mythological lake. 1 We might 
ilmost say that the Glory and the Fravashi are 
bound together in the same way as Water and 
Plants. The Glory is more closely associated with 
:he Waters, and the Fravashi with the Plants. In 
lie same section of Dr Frazer s work, referred 

in n. 1 below, we find many stories where the 

1 Compare the folk-stories in The Golden Bough 11 , iii. 357, 364, 365, 
67, 368, 369 (two), 372, 374, 375, 379, 381, 382 (two), 386 (two), 

1 all of which the external soul is protected by surrounding water. 


external soul is resident in a plant ; and the eating 
of such a plant would supply a very easy explanation 
of pregnancy for the simple prehistoric folk among 
whom my hypothesis assumes the idea to have 
originated. But all this is of course very specu 
lative, and we may leave it here. 

There remain to be noted two more functions of 
the Fravashis, one clearly visible in the Avesta, 
the other very doubtfully present there. They 
are in the later Parsi theology representative spirits 
beyond everything else, sharing the fortunes of their 
earthly counterparts. This corresponds closely with 
the familiar Avestan picture of the Daena of the 
good or the bad man, which becomes fairer or uglier 
with every characteristic thought, word, or deed. 
But in the Avesta there are not wanting proofs 
that they were to some extent real guardian angels 
also. They are essential for promoting birth ; they 
nourish animals and men, waters and plants ; they 
guard sun and moon and stars ; they are constantly 
present in battle as givers of victory ; they watch 
over the Lake, the stars of the Great Bear, the 
body of the sleeping Keresaspa, and the seed of 
Zarathushtra, in preparation for the final Renewal. 
In time of drought they vie with each other to 
procure water from Vouru-kasha, each for his own 
house, clan, or district (Yt 13 64 ff.). These attributes 
come from the Farvardin Yasht itself. The Fra 
vashis of five unknown saints are invoked (Yt 13 104 
to withstand ill dreams and visions, unnatural vice 
and the Pairikas. The Fravashi of the holy Man 
thravaka, in the next stanza, will smite heresy, a< 
the good priest had no doubt done in his lifetime 


Another ( Yt 13 120 ) will restrain persecution from 
kindred an allusion clearly to unrecorded events 
in the saint s family life. Their general character 
as beneficent spirits, objects of prayer in exactly 
the same way as the saints in syncretistic forms of 
Christianity, is well seen in a fragment thus given 
by Darmesteter in SHE, xxiii. 322 : 

" O Maker ! how do the souls of the dead, the Fravashis 
of the holy Ones, manifest themselves ? " 

Ahura Mazda answered : " They manifest themselves 
from goodness of spirit and excellence of mind/ 1 

(That is, these qualities in men bring the Fravashis 
to help them.) It has become sufficiently clear that 
if fear was in prehistoric times the great motive of 
the cult of the dead, it had long yielded to affection 
and a sense of dependence when the Fravashi doc 
trine as we have it was framed. It is significant 
that the first month of the Parsi year is called by 
this sacred name, and the last ten days of that year 
were dedicated to the special honour of spirits whom 
no reformation of religion could banish from their 
place nearest the people s heart. 

Lastly, we must inquire how far it is true that 
the Fravashis were specially connected with the 
stars. We have seen already (p. 237) that astral 
theology has a very small part in genuine Parsism ; 
and we are prepared to expect that in a field where 
Magianism is very little to be seen the traces of 
this star-lore will be few. This soon shows itself 
in fact. I proceed to collect what can be inferred 
from the Avesta in this connexion. We may 
quote some passages from Yt 13, our most im 
portant source. 


First comes a verse passage, presumably old, which 
I give as in ERPP, 146 : 

By their brightness and their glory, 
Zarathushtra, 1 stay from ruin 
Yonder heaven, sublime and shining, 
That the whole earth doth encompass ; 
Like a palace spirit-fashioned, 
Stablished, far withdrawn its limit, 
With the form of glowing metal, 
Lightens it the world s three regions. 1 
With that heaven, as with a garment 
Star-embroidered, spirit- woven, 
Mazdah clothes him, and his angels 
Mithra, Rashnu, Aramaiti ; 
Nor on any side beginning 
Nor an end thereof appeareth. (Yt IS 2 f.) 

This is on similar lines with a later passage, which 
is more explicit : the rough verse-rendering attempts 
to show where the metre fails in our text : 

Who the paths of Right appointed 
For the stars, the moon, the sun, . . . 
And the bright eternal heaven, 
That had erst in one place standing [long time] 
Never moved, for hate of Daevas. 
For the onsets of the Daevas. 
Now they move for ever onward 
to come to the turning-point of their path, 
To the blessed Restoration. (Yt 13 57 f.) 

In both these passages the Fravashis are only power 
ful genii who can work for Ahura in any sphere. 
" It must be allowed that though they thus preserve 
the stars from wrong, this falls short of identifica 
tion with stars" (ERPP, 144). 

In two other passages they are connected with 
specific stars, two of the four Regents that meet 
us in the Tishtrya Yasht : 

1 Contrast the commoner (Gathic) sevenfold division. 


They between the earth and heaven 
Speed the lord of falling waters, 
Satavaesa, 1 at man s entreaty. (Yt 13 43 .) 

Similarly they watch (v. 60 ) the stars HaptO iringa, 
the seven stars of the Great Bear, which are guardians 
of the North and therefore need special help, for it 
is the quarter of the demons. There are 99,999 of 
them a standing figure for infinity. This stanza 
is naturally prose. On this evidence, manifestly, 
the Fravashis are no more connected with stars in 
their Yasht than with Waters and Plants and other 
provinces in which they achieve the same victories. 
It is noteworthy also that they are never even 
brought in to help Tishtrya (Sirius) in his great fight 
with the demon Apaosha in Yt 8. We have to 
go outside the A vesta for the connexion between 
stars and Fravashi. In Dind-i Mam6g4 Khirad 
(or Minokhired), 49 22 (SEE, xxiv. 92) we read: 

The remaining unnumbered and innumerable constella 
tions (y.l. stars) which are apparent are said to be the 
guardian spirits of the worldly existences. 

An isolated and hesitating statement like this in a 
late Pahlavi book clearly cannot take us far. But 
since we know the Magi to have been great astro 
logers, the statement fits in accurately enough with 
what we know of their system, apart from the other 
strata in the Avesta, and may perhaps be provision 
ally accepted in this way. 2 

1 Probably Fomalhaut, Regent of the South. 

2 There are some good remarks on the growth of astrolatry in 
Western Iran in Wilhelm s important paper, " Priester und Ketzer 
imalten Eran," (ZDMG, xliv. 142 ff., 1890). He remarks on the 
prominence of star-worship among the Zervanites, and thinks the 


In connexion with this subject I should make some 
reference to the story of the Magi and the " King of 
the Jews." What has been already said will help us 
to show that the Magi in the second chapter of 
Matthew act throughout in a manner perfectly con 
sistent with what we have ascertained about them, 
or inferred concerning them, on evidence lying very 
far away from this familiar narrative. It would be 
too serious a digression from the subject of these 
Lectures if I were to stop and examine the historical 
character of the story. I must restrict myself severely 
to a few notes on its relation to Magianism, which 
I cannot discuss without some allusion to the one 
event that ordinary Western readers connect with 
the Magian name. 1 

That the story does connect itself with the Magi 
in the strict sense of the word will probably be con 
ceded at once by readers who have followed my 
argument in the last two Lectures and are prepared to 
connect with it the obvious prominence of star-lore 
and dreams in the Gospel narrative. Our evidence has 
forced us to minimise the genuinely Zarathushtrian 
elements in Persian religion as known in the West 

development may have begun in the Achsemenian age, though 
only certain in the Sassanian. This has no more than an indirect 
bearing on the question whether the Magi found the Fravashis in 
the stars. 

1 There is a convenient summary of " religious-historical " specu 
lation on the subject in Clemen s Primitive Christianity, p. 298 f. 
(E.T.). The readiness with which Boklen, Cheyne and others 
have set down Parsi sources many centuries later as material 
for the explanation of the story seems very uncritical. Cumont s 
advance answer (Textes, i. 42, cited by Clemen) is authoritative, 
though most of us would have arrived at something like it by the 
light of nature. 


of Asia and Europe before the Sassanian epoch. 
Our Magi will accordingly have affinities with the 
traditional wisdom of their ancient sacred tribe, 
rather than with the orthodox Parsism with which 
they had linked themselves as priests. Their astro 
logy and their oneiromancy alike are therefore features 
which we have every reason to expect in them. This 
includes their readiness to link the Fravashis with the 
stars. What sort of a star was it which they tell us 
started them on their journey ? Not a planet, clearly, 
nor a conjunction of planets, as Kepler first suggested ; 
for, as we have seen, the planets were malign for the 
Magi. 1 It seems most natural to think of a Nova, 
one of those sudden apparitions that tell us of a 

1 On this point see above, p. 211 f. My purpose excludes the 
discussion of the many rival theories, but I might simply mention 
one of the latest, which will at least indicate that the student has 
plenty of choice. H. Voigt (Die Geschichte Jesu und die Astrolo"ie, 
1911) makes the uo-r^p a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the 
Ram, which happens only four times in a millennium. A papyrus 
is said to show that it happened in 6 B.C., recurring about five 
months later. In Gnostic texts we find that Jupiter was repre 
sentative of Judaea. The Magi, then, observed the conjunction 
first in the spring of 6 B.C., and watched it again, culminating 
in the South as they entered Bethlehem. The theory is thus 
suggested by Kepler s, with some new points : it refers to the 
conjunction of the planets in the year following that of which 
he thought. I am glad to note that my preference for a Nova 
agrees with that of Mr Maunder (Astronomy of the Bible, p. 399). 
But Mr Maunder, with the expert s caution, will not commit 
himself there to very definite conclusions, declaring the data 
insufficient. One other contribution should be referred to, since 
it comes from a first-rate Avestan scholar. In the Dublin Review 
for October 1902 Dr Casartelli gave what he called a "footnote to 
Matthew ii. 1." Among many very interesting suggestions I note 
especially the comparison of the acrrr^p to the ^aranah, in accordance 
with Chrysostom s idea of a luminous phenomenon descending upon 


stupendous outburst in the depths of space, bringing 
to our eyes a new star that in a few weeks or months 
fades away from sight. We remember the Nova in 
Perseus which in February 1901 added a brief unit 
to the small company of our first-magnitude stars. 
But the Star of the Magi need not have been as bright 
as this. Professional astrologers would notice a new 
star which had no chance of observation by amateurs ; 
and whether it was a Nova or not, the place of the 
star would probably count for more with them than 
its brilliance. My preference for the postulate of a 
Nova comes from the naturalness of their quest for 
an identification of the Fravashi they would associate 
with it. They had no doubt met with numerous 
Jews in their own country, and had knowledge of 
their Messianic hopes, which may even have struck 
them with their resemblance to their own expectation 
of Saoshyant. A dream which would supply the 
sought-for identification is all that is needed to 
satisfy the demands of the narrative. Their five 
miles walk due south from Jerusalem gave time for 
the star, if seen low down in the sky in S.S.E. when 
they started, to be culminating just over Bethlehem 
when they drew near to the town ; and men so 
deeply convinced of the significance of stellar motions 
would of course welcome this as fresh evidence that 
the end of their quest was gained. 

Here I leave the story to the sceptics who count 

earth. If I venture an opinion, I should confess that Chrysostom s 
interpretation is my difficulty in using Dr Casartelli s tempting hint. 
Perhaps I ought in candour to add that my own explanation above 
has a weak spot in our ignorance of the view the Magi would take 
of a Nova : it is conceivable that it might have struck them as 
abnormal and therefore Ahrimanian we have no evidence. 


it beautiful legend and the believers who hold it 
" Gospel truth." My own vote between these alter 
native positions would depend on a series of con 
siderations, critical and theological, which have 
nothing to do with Zoroastrianism. All 1 am con 
cerned to prove here is that the narrative might 
have been composed by a Magus for the accuracy 
with which it portrays Magian ideas. 1 It might be 
Magian fiction, of course, like the original of Tobit 
discussed in Lecture VII. But since the author was 
confessedly a Jew, the correct colour of his " fiction " 
is at least interesting. 2 

1 From Dr Casartelli s paper I should add his remarks on the 
appropriateness of "frankincense and myrrh." "The use of 
fragrant woods and vegetable perfumes has always been a character 
istic of the Zoi oastrian religious cult " : he refers to Vd 8 2 and ig , 
where vohu.gaona " is apparently frankincense." 

2 I have not repeated in this chapter all the points about the 
Fravashis which are mentioned in other Lectures : the Index s.v. 
will enable the reader to collect them. The most important is the 
reference of King Antiochus to his Fravashi as an avatar (e 

see p. 108. 



From the rising of the sun even unto the going 
down of the same my name is great among the 
Gentiles ; and in every place incense is offered unto 
my name, and a pure offering ; for my name is great 
among the Gentiles, saith Yahweh of Hosts. 1 

Malachi i. 1 1. 

THE main purpose of this concluding Lecture is not 
that which will appear at first sight from its title. 
An active discussion has been going on for a genera 
tion as to the reality and extent of influences passing 
from one to the other of the two greatest religions 
of Western Asia. I naturally cannot decline all 
reference to this controversy, and hope to have 
something to say about it before I have done. But 
before suggesting any answer to the question whether 
Zarathushtra influenced Israel, or Israel Zarathushtra, 
I want to take a summary view of Parsism in the 
light of another religion, using the comparative 
method as a help to bring out the essential character 
of the religion which I am trying to interpret. The 
moral of the comparison may be reserved for the 

1 See E. Meyer, Gesch. d. Alt., iii. 171, on the implication from 
the Jewish prophet s words that the everywhere worshipped God 
of heaven and Ruler of the world was in his mind identified with 



present : points of similarity and of difference between 
the two religions, in spheres of thought which concern 
the deepest essentials, will sufficiently occupy our 
attention ; and in most of these points independence 
is so obvious that we shall not be troubled with 
suspicions of borrowing. Coincidences will be the 
independent agreement of deep thinkers upon the 
same great problems, and their independence will 
enhance their suggestiveness. Our line will resemble 
that of Professor Harnack in a striking paper in the 
Hibbert Journal for October 1911, in which he 
sketched the religion of Porphyry, showing in how 
many points it unconsciously resembled the faith 
which the philosopher in his controversial work so 
bitterly attacked. And at the other end of the scale 
of human thought we shall find an apt parallel in the 
coincidences which perpetually meet us as we study 
primitive religions in The Golden Bough. The 
human mind has an ultimate identity of constitution 
on many sides wherever we find it ; and when its 
powers are brought to bear upon identical material 
the results tend to approximate. 

I must not further anticipate the promised moral, 
but proceed to sum up afresh some of the leading 
characteristics of Early Zoroastrianism in terms of 
a comparison with ideas found in the religion of 
Israel. By the religion of Israel I mean of course 
the religion in its full and complete development, 
including the crown of the whole system in the 
teaching of Jesus, and the apostolic interpretation of 
it. Indeed, as a main part of my subject is concerned 
with the phenomena of religious syncretism, it is 
reasonable to expect helpful illustration even from 


the syncretisms of later Christianity, which cast its 
net into many waters and gathered of many kinds, 
both bad and good. 

I cannot state my text better than by quoting 
a page from Prof. Bousset s well-known work on 
Judaism in New Testament times. 1 The author is 
a leader among those who believe in a definite and 
powerful influence exerted upon Judaism and early 
Christianity by Parsi thought. I shall have to argue 
against this view, except to a very limited extent, 
but the passage will serve none the worse as a state 
ment of the common features of the religions, 
however explained : 

In the Persian religion the later Judaism came in contact 
with a powerful and influential faith, predominant in one 
part of the world and strongly impressing even the Greeks, 
which at least in its purer form was almost of equal rank 
with itself. In no other religion outside Judaism was there 
so pronounced and triumphant a movement of belief 
towards monotheism if we make allowance for the strong 
tendency to dualism. Ahura Mazdah is, among all the 
deities of the world that surrounded Judaism, distinctively 
of a type which can most easily be compared with that of 
Yahweh. We have here also a strong spiritualising, 
transcendental bent, a deep-seated union of religion with 
earnest ethical thought. And in details how many 
resemblances and agreements are found ! Here, as there, 
the thought of the hereafter and the j udgement is central, 
and the doctrine of individual rewards and punishments is 
complementary to apocalyptic, the elaborated doctrine of 
the future of the world. In both religions there is a 
tendency towards dualism : the Kingdom of God, of Ahura 
Mazdah, stands in contrast with that of the devil, of Angra 
Mainyu. In both we find remarkable coincidences in 

1 Die Religion des Judenlums in neutestamentlichen Zeitalter, ed. : 
(1906), p. 549. 


speculations concerning God and divine beings (Hypostases l 
= Amesha Spenta) ; in both, sacrifice and worship (Kult) 
recedes before ritual and ceremonial, and we may character 
ise both as religions of observance (of the Law). In both 
great stress is laid on the care of the poor. Just as the 
order of Scribes arose in Judaism over against the priest 
hood, the Magi among the Persians gained increasingly 
the character of theologians, commentators, and custodians 
of an ancient scripture tradition. Just as a canon of 
Scripture was formed in later Judaism, Parsism appears 
in the same period to have possessed a like collection. 
True, in all this there need not be any dependence : it may 
all be parallel development. But the coincidence in so 
many points is extremely remarkable, and compels us to 
examine it more closely. For we are concerned here with 
contacts and perhaps with dependence in the very centre 
of things. 

One more quotation may be in place before I 
proceed to elaborate the parallel. Prof. Soderblom, at 
the beginning of his important work, Les Fravashis, 
quotes a late Parsi creed according to the translation 
of Darmesteter. It runs thus : 

I have no doubt as to the truth of the good religion of 
the worshippers of Mazda, the coming of the Resurrection 
and the future life, the passing of the Cinvat Bridge, the 
account made during the Three Nights [after death] of merits 
and reward, of faults and punishment, the truth of heaven 
and hell, the annihilation of Ahriman and the demons, the 
final victory of God the Spirit of Good, and the destruction 
of the spirit of evil and the demons, the brood of darkness. 

1 A definition of these hypostases may be appended from Prof. 
3ertholet s continuation of Stade, Bibl. Theol. des A. T., n. 394 : 
hey are "nicht ganz so anschaulich konkrete, volkstiimliche 
^estalten wie die Engel, aber auch nicht reine abstrakte Gedan- 
:engebilde ; die naive Philosophic denkt sie sich in gewisser Weise 
>ersonlich" (W. Luekens, Die Schriften des N. T., n. 335). 



This credo is removed by its date from the Early 
Zoroastrianism to which we are limited, but it is 
completely in the spirit of the oldest period. We 
cannot read it without recognising how little material 
change must be made to enable devout Christians to 
use it heartily. We should have to add to it, and 
add what is of primary importance, but there is 
nothing to take away. It is well to realise this at 
the outset, that we may the better appreciate our 

The comparison in detail may begin with the idea 
of God. That the divine name " Wise Lord " is 
closely akin to Biblical conceptions needs no proof. 
But it is interesting to observe that the Old Testa 
ment conception of " wisdom " as a strictly practical 
and ethical attribute answers well to Zarathushtra s 
view, in which there is no room for merely speculative 
or theoretical knowledge. The omniscience of the 
Creator is a point kept in great prominence by 
Zarathushtra, who would have found nothing to 
question in such an exposition as the twenty-eighth 
chapter of Job. The doctrine grew in explicitness 
in later times, when this attribute of Deity was so 
conspicuous that ignorance and blindness had to be 
primary features of the evil spirit who was the 
mechanical antithesis of the Good in all his functions. 
Another parallel development may be seen in the 
conception of the " wisdom " that God gives to men. 
In the Hebrew scriptures it is the " fear of Yahweh, 
the knowledge how to live in conformity to the wil 
of God. In the book of Proverbs Wisdom i: 
personified in a way that reminds us strongly o 
Aramaiti, whom Plutarch represented as 2o</a. Th< 


personification in each case is feminine, and pictures 
a spirit specially associated with the Deity : in post- 
Gathic phrase, Aramaiti is the " daughter " of Ahura 
Mazdah. Those who are so minded may observe that 
she was especially protectress of the Earth, from 
Aryan times, and may recall that in Prov. 8 30 f. 
Wisdom was with Yahweh when the Earth s founda 
tions were laid, and took her pleasure in it. 

That the " Only Wise God " was Creator is a 

fundamental doctrine of both religions. The already 

quoted confession of the Ach^emenian kings shows 

that Ahura made both the material and the moral 

world, 1 both man and happiness. But in the original 

Zarathushtrian doctrine, even as in the emphatic 

words of Deutero-Isaiah, there was no room for the 

dualism which removed from the Creator s province 

the darker side of the world. In Isai. 45 7 Yahweh 

creates darkness " and " evil " ; 2 and in the Gathas 

; Ys 44 5 ) Ahura creates darkness, being indeed, as the 

context emphatically declares (t;. 7 ), creator of " all 

:hings." The Gathas do not retain for us any 

suggestion that Ahura made disease or death, as the 

Hebrew prophet boldly claims. Naturally the Magi 

kvould eliminate this feature if it was ever there, 

laving developed the idea of a counter-creation. The 

bought of actual creation ex nihilo was present in the 

3undahish, as Casartelli points out : see SHE, v. 121 f. 

Whether this is based on ancient material we naturally 

1 The statement depends on our rendering of siydtis, Avestan 
ditis, which in the latter can only mean "joy " : compare its 
ognate quies. Other renderings have been given, but there does 
ot seem room for doubt. 

2 That is, of course, physical or material evil, not moral. 



cannot determine ; nor can we say with certainty 
how early the idea appeared in Israel. It is said by 
Dr Skinner to appear first unambiguously in 2 Mace. 
7 28 , dated not long before our era. Even this passage 
is questioned by Hatch (Hibbert Lectures, p. 195 f.), 
who would make the Gnostic Basilides the earliest 
to announce the doctrine. 1 

Two other striking features may be noticed in 
which the concept of Deity approximates in the two 
religions. That " God is light, and in Him is no 
darkness at all" is a doctrine too familiar to need 
further illustration. But Parsism from the first lays 
quite equal stress on the idea. In the anthropomor 
phic phrase, Ahura " clothes himself with the massy 
heavens," even as Yahweh " cover[s him]self with 
light as with a garment. " Later we have the splendid 
phrase that the body of Ahura is like the light and 
his soul like Truth. 2 This is as immaterial a con 
ception as could be easily devised, and it fits in with 
the constant insistence on the spiritual nature of God. 
Prof. Soderblom well brings out the fundamental 
antithesis of corporeal and spiritual (astvant ano 
mainyava). It goes back to early times, and maj 
be called an alternative dualism. He notes that th( 
Jewish fundamental antithesis was rather betweer 
the present age and the future. 3 Ahura is wholh 
spiritual, and surrounded by spirits. The grea 
Johannine saying that God is Spirit, and Hi 

1 I owe the reference to my colleague Prof. A. S. Peake. 

2 See p. 391 for its original Greek (Porphyry). 

3 Les Fravashis, 60 f. The division cuts across the other dualisti 
division : cf. the illustrations quoted from Prof. Soderblom abov 
p. 147 f. 


worshippers must worship in spirit and truth, would 
translate very easily into Gathic. Nor would the 
Pauline antithesis of the seen and the unseen, the 
temporal and the eternal, sound unfamiliar to men 
whose thought was guided by Zarathushtra. 

The most characteristic feature of Zarathushtra s 
own theology is the doctrine of the Amshaspands. 
It has been already shown that we are specially bound 
here to distinguish the Gathic teaching from that 
of the Later Avesta, and carefully avoid crediting 
Zarathushtra with anything for which we cannot give 
chapter and verse from his own poems. This means, 
as we saw, that the collective name and the fixing of 
a number must be sacrificed. The spirits of whom 
we are now thinking receive in the Gathas distinctly 
the name Ahura just as Mazdah does. They are, in 
fact, no more detachable from Mazdah s own hypo- 
stasis than the " Angel of Yahweh " or the " Spirit of 
Yahweh " is from Yahweh himself in the oldest 
Hebrew scriptures. The whole use of the names in 
the Gathas shows us that we have to do with con 
cepts which are within the concept of God, not 
separate from it. The combination therefore has to 
be taken together if we would realise what attributes 
were assigned to the Deity in the religion. We 
soon see how far the Jewish and the Parsi theology 
travel together. First among these Divine attributes 
stands Asa, the Divine Order, ideal Truth and Right. 
To stop and prove that Judaism made righteousness 
and judgement the foundation of God s throne would 
be superfluous indeed. Then comes the Thought of 
God, out of which springs all that is good. And we 
are taught that man must think God s Thought after 


Him, and find in this their heaven. Vohu Manah is 
in fact very much like the New Testament 5<Wa. 
His two sides are fairly combined in the phrase 
avOpwTroi euSoKict? in the Gloria men on whom God s 
vahistdm mano rests, and who reflect that Best 
Thought upon all around. That " the Kingdom 
belongs to Yahweh " was a central doctrine with the 
prophets of Israel, who prepared for the sublime 
simplicity of the daily prayer eXOdrui fj (3a<ri\eia a-ov 
ajamyat ysaftrdm 6wam, as Zarathushtra might well 
have said. The constant thought of the Kingdom of 
God as the supreme object of man s ambition is in 
the Gathas largely obscured for us by the difficult 
language ; but it is central, and there is no more 
significant link between the religion of the Iranian 
prophet and that of the Gospels. Next stands 
Aramaiti, Piety, which seems to us rather an attribute 
of good men than of God. But it is fair to plead 
that to include God s best gifts within His own nature 
is true to the deepest reality. The Kingdom, supreme 
Dominion, is what He possesses. Piety, Salvation 
and Immortality are what He gives. But He always 
gives Himself. We may complete the Biblical parallel 
by recalling that the " Son " of God is expressly said 
in Heb. 5 7 f. to have been " heard because of his 
ev\a{3eia" and we could hardly find a closer Greek 
equivalent for Aramaiti. The same verse attributes 
vTrcLKor]., sraosa, to Jesus, and thus brings in another of 
these Zarathushtrian Ahuras as an attribute of one 
who is claimed to be Divine. The special epithet 
spanta suggests a further parallel. If Piety is beyond 
all others " holy," and " holy " means, as we have seen, 
" beneficent," we see an approximation to the great 


doctrine of James I 26 f., that the only ritual (fy?ovce/a) 
that is acceptable to the God and Father is that of 
practical benevolence and a pure heart. So we pass 
on to the twin gifts of God to man, perfect sound 
ness and endless life. " I came that they may have 
life and have abundance," said the Johannine Christ, 
and these are just the two great gifts foreshadowed in 
Zarathushtra s thought : their splendid comprehensive 
ness shows how well he knew <^Aoui/ ra ^aplcr/ui.ara TO. 
imeifyva. 1 And like the rest, these gifts are attributes 
of the Divine. Here, as all through our exposition, 
we can go to the New Testament to enlarge and 
explain great truths that Zarathushtra saw "in a 
mirror, riddlewise." To realise the Amshaspand 
Haurvatat, " Wholeness," or Salvation, 2 we remember 
the command, " Be perfect, even as your heavenly 
Father is perfect." And for its twin, the projection 
of this perfect soundness, this fullness of life and 
blessing, into a future which death has no power to 
mar, we think of the revelation of Him who " only 
hath immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light," 3 
and of the words that tell us how He " created man 
for incorruption, and made him an image of his own 
proper being." 4 

I have intentionally spent a little time in expanding 
the obvious parallels from the Christian Scriptures, 

1 John 10 10 , 1 Cor. 12 31 . 

2 Jackson, in a recent paper (Amer. Journal of Theol., April 1913, 
p. 198), remarks that Haurvatat "denotes wholeness/ perfection, 
saving grace/ and hence salvation its etymological cognate, 
by the way. 

3 1 Tim. 6 16 . 

4 Wisdom 2 23 . For 810x771-05 two cursives read dtSum/Tos, " ever- 


because the very juxtaposition of the implicit and 
the explicit may help us to make for ourselves a 
profitable comparison of the two religions. We 
cannot praise the older faith more highly than by 
showing how it contained seed-thoughts that in the 
light and warmth of Christian enthusiasm might have 
blossomed into beauty for all the world to admire. 
There is also another comment that will be in place 
after nearly every paragraph in the present exposition. 
We have seen that Judaism and Christianity have 
developed a series of fundamental ideas which can be 
recognised centuries before in the obscure phrases 
of the Gathas. But the difference of setting is so 
complete that we have not to argue against the 
perversely ingenious people who write as if there 
was a complete set of Sacred Books of the East in 
Aramaic on the shelves of a public library in Nazareth 
or Capernaum. One cannot, of course, predict what 
a Jensen or a Drews may say quibus est nihil 
negatum ! But for scholars in general there will, of 
course, be no thought of dependence in such a sphere 
as this ; and the very fact that there may be such 
deep-seated affinity in religions which at least in these 
respects admittedly did not influence one another, 
may be remembered as a useful caution later on. 

Pursuing my general comparative method, I 
proceed to point out a more recondite affinity than 
those I have been noticing. I have observed already 
that the Amshaspands are so markedly within the 
Divine hypostasis as not to allow the sugges 
tion that Zarathushtra s own thought fell short of 
monotheism. There is a very real but by no means 
obvious parallel in the development of Early Christian 


theology. For my purpose it does not matter when 
or how the doctrine of the Trinity emerged as an 
attempt to explain the mutual relations of Divine 
Personalities who are central in the New Testament : 
my point would not be affected if the Trinitarian 
dogma was the invention of Athanasius. Nor need 
I stop to define the Catholic doctrine, which I 
naturally do not suggest to be an exact or even very 
close parallel to Zarathushtra s idea. Obviously the 
Iranian sage would never have approved or even 
understood the Athanasian Creed. For him the 
doctrine of an incarnation would have associated 
itself with the unlovely avatars of Aryan mythology, 
and have suffered discredit from the association, just 
as it would have been discredited in the eyes of 
Socrates by the epiphanies of Greek deities. It is 
very suggestive that the Christian doctrine of Incarna 
tion sprang up on virgin soil. 1 The affinity between 
the Christian and the pure Zarathushtrian doctrine 
lies simply in the fact that both systems realise the 
necessity of recognising a differentiation within the 
Godhead that if God is " the white radiance of 
eternity," there is also " a rainbow round about the 
Throne," which is that same Radiance seen in another 
way. There are six hues, or more, in Zarathushtra s 
rainbow, only three in the Christian, but the under 
lying reason is the same. It is, moreover, only 

1 Perhaps I had better guard myself by observing that I am 
perfectly aware of arguments that have been urged in favour of 
foreign influences here. I cannot discuss them in these Lectures, 
and need only say that they entirely fail to commend themselves 
to my judgement, which in this matter is altogether free from bias. 
How anyone could fail to see in Matt, i.-ii. the most intensely 
Jewish chapters in the New Testament passes my comprehension. 


heightened by the impossibility of equating any part 
of the Hexad to a part of the Triad. It would be 
possible enough to argue for a Trinity in the Gathas, 
where Ahura Mazdah, Asha and Vohu Manah stand 
together in very marked detachment from the remain 
ing four. But the comparison helps us nothing : we 
might as well illustrate the Athanasian Creed by quot 
ing the triad Zeus, Ge, and Helios l from Egyptian 
Greek papyri. There is a " Holy Spirit " in the 
Gathas, but he is not a separate Ahura. We find 
Mazdah described as the Father of Asha (Ys 44 3 ), 
but the conception is too metaphorical and abstract 
to suggest except verbally the Divine Fatherhood 
of the New Testament. Then there is Darmesteter s 
attempt to compare Vohu Manah with the Logos. 
But, as Prof. Mills very justly observes, 2 Asha 
would have been decidedly preferable in this com 
parison, if the Gathas are mainly in view ; and the 
resemblance is shadowy at best. Putting aside all 
attempts to force parallels which are not helpful, we 
may be the more impressed by the far deeper unity 
of the two systems in the way in which they were 
led to look upon God. 3 

1 So Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. i. pp. 106, 107, in two documents, 
dated 86 and 100 A.D. (as restored by Deissmann in ThLZ, 1898, 
p. 628). The formula is said by Schiirer to recur twice in inscriptions 
of the Bosporus. One may compare with this the triad of Artaxerxes 
Mnemon, mentioned on the next page. 

2 ZaraQustra, Philo, the Achcemenids and Israel, p. 17. 

3 A very remarkable argument by a Mohammedan scholar, who 
claims that the idea of differentiation within the Godhead is implicit 
in the faith of Islam as well as in Christianity, is cited in Internal. 
Review of Missions for January 1913, p. 115 f. See some remarks 
on this in my Religions and Religion (Fernley Lecture, 

p. 100 f. 


I should mention, perhaps, that Prof. Soderblom, 
in his interesting paper on " Holy Triads," com 
municated to the Oxford Congress for the History of 
Religions, 1 cited Prof. Albrecht Weber, who made 
what seems a rather strange selection of the most 
important questions concerning the influence of the 
Avestan religion upon the Biblical religions. It is 
" the possible connexion between the Avestan triad, 
God, the Doctrine, the Souls of the pious believers 
(the Fravashis) . . . and the Christian Trinity . . . ; 
and the Buddhist triad, Buddha, the Law, and the 
Congregation, must also be taken into account." 
Prof. Soderblom justly observes that "such a trinity 
scarcely appears in the A vesta." He himself has 
much to say of a Holy Triad found independently in 
non-polytheistic founded religions, " the Revealer, his 
revelation (God), and the new life of his followers," 
which stands in sharp antithesis to the triads of poly 
theistic creeds : Mazdah, Anahita and Mithra on the 
inscriptions of Mnemon will serve as an example. 

What I said above about the " Holy Spirit " 
(Spdnta Mainyu} of Mazdeism leaves me free to note 
how strikingly the Gathic concept illustrates that of 
the "Spirit of Yahweh" in the Old Testament. 
There is the same combination of distinctness and 
identity, the same stress upon spirituality. Of 
course, the fact that we use the same English render 
ing must not mislead us into an exaggerated notion of 
the equivalence of Spdnta Mainyu and TO ayioi Trvev/ma 
or its Hebrew original. The connotation of " holiness " 
in the two languages is quite distinct ; and while Greek 
and Hebrew get their word for " spirit " from the 

1 Transactions, ii. 391. 


idea of " breath," the Avestan starts from the verb 
"think." A smaller point I may just name before I 
pass from this comparison. In Ys 33 5 we read of 
" the Dominion of Good Thought " (\8a6r9m vavhaus 
mananho}. So we may have one of the Hexad depend 
ing on another, instead of on Mazdah. It is perhaps 
not too fanciful to compare the occasional appearance 
of TO TTveu/ma Irjvov or XpicrTov in the New Testament as 
a designation of the Third Person of the Trinity. 

I must pass on from these necessarily abtruse 
points of theology, in which it is easy for one who 
is neither philosopher nor expert in the history of 
dogma to stumble. Whether my comparison hitherto 
has been just or fanciful, I am on sure ground when 
I point out the general resemblance of the paths by 
which the two religions reached the heights of 
monotheism. To each people when polytheism still 
reigned there came a great Prophet, the centre of 
whose message was to bid them fix their thought 
and faith on One alone. But neither Moses nor 
Zarathushtra denied the existence of other beings 
called divine. The Gathas know nothing of gods 
who could be regarded as inferior to Mazdah but on 
his side. For Zarathushtra, we should judge, the step 
was already taken which late in Israel s history made 
the gods of other peoples real divinities, but of devilish 
nature. In the Inscriptions, however, Ahura Mazdah 
is "the greatest of gods (maQista baganam}" and 
these " gods (baga] " are beneficent. We may assume 
safely that if Zarathushtra tried to ignore these 
inferior deities he failed to carry his people with him. 
The growth of monotheism, after the primary impulse 
was spent, lay along the same lines in both nations. 


The transcendence of the one national deity Ahura 
Mazdah, " the God of the Aryans," Yahweh, " the 
God of Israel "- became more and more marked with 
time ; and ultimately the nation reached a real mono 
theism by this road. In each case there is a possi 
bility that the Founder reached it ages before. It 
may be added that the lines of religious declension 
were much the same. The old polytheism in each case 
constantly threatened to return. Mithra and Anahita 
might in theory be only yazata, angels subordinated to 
the only God, just as in medieval Christianity Michael 
and the Virgin were by theologians kept wholly apart 
from Deity. But with the populace the distinction 
was unreal, and polytheism virtually returned, as it did 
throughout the history of Israel before the Captivity. 
The part played by the Prophet may be compared 
with suggestive results. Zarathushtra stands solitary 
in the history of Parsism, while Moses has a series of 
successors, some of whom were at least as great as 
himself. There lies the most important part of the 
ultimate difference between the destiny of the 
religions. In other respects the parallel will hold. 
Each Founder was credited in later days with a 
complete legislative system, which in Zarathushtra s 
case was the work of men wholly alien 1 from his 
spirit. By way of compensation, the men who mis- 

1 Here I must chronicle the fact that my friend Prof. Jackson 
sprinkles queries about these two words. His opinion is worth so 
much more than mine that the reader should be told when I am 
venturing without his company. My main contention is that the 
ritual of the Vendidad was alien to Zarathushtra, who, as I under 
stand him, had nothing of the ritual or the sacerdotal in his system. 
But I have no doubt that without their adaptation Zarathushtra s 
thought would have failed to survive. 


represented him unconsciously enough, we may 
probably assume elevated him to a virtually divine 
rank, and supported the apotheosis with a multitude 
of singularly feeble miracles. It will be admitted 
that the memory of Moses was hallowed in ways 
more congruous with the Prophet s true character 
and message. 

When we come down from the Doctrine of God 
into the comparatively indifferent sphere of angel- 
ology, we are entering a subject where dispute is 
more feasible. But even here we may put in the fore 
front some coincidences which none would claim to 
be anything else. The prominence of Fire in both 
religions will be one, for it is too obviously old to be 
conceivably borrowed. " The Fire of Yahweh " and 
" the Fire of Ahura Mazdah " are parallel phrases, 
and the associations of each are very similar. Yet it 
is clear that the sacredness of Fire as an emblem 
came to Iran and to Israel by totally different roads. 
The Zoroastrian A tar, with which we compared the 
Latin atrium, the room where the house-fire burnt, 
was in its origin neither sacrificial nor elemental, but 
represented simply the fire of the hearth, which in 
a country of intensely cold winters had never lost the 
supreme importance belonging to it in the Urheimat 
in Northern Europe and through the long migrations 
over the Steppes. The Fire of Yahweh was in its 
origin, we may suppose, the lightning : l the narratives 

1 Or the volcano : I do not pretend to determine a matter which 
concerns the Old Testament specialist. There is much interesting 
matter on this subject in Hugo Gressmann s Eschatologie. Dr 
Gressmann would trace a connexion between volcanic theophanies 
and the ayah ^susta, comparing especially Enoch 52 6 67 4 ff., where we 
have mountains of metal that melt. He would also (see p. 37-40) 


of the theophanies in fire, and the familiar phrases in 
which the God of Israel is described as " everlasting 
burnings " or " a devouring fire," are distant survivals 
of what was once quite literal and had become wholly 
spiritualised. Another quasi -angelic figure in the 
Gathas is the Ox-Soul, which, with the Ox-Creator, 
represents the world of animal life entrusted to the 
diligent husbandman. There is a likeness in the 
loftier and wider conception of the " Four Living 
Creatures," borrowed by the New Testament apoca- 
lyptist from Ezekiel, and defined by a commentator 
as representing "Creation and the Divine immanence 
in Nature." Other points in angelology we will 
postpone for the present, as affording at least a 
plausible case for direct borrowing. 

We come, then, to the Doctrine of Evil. Here 
again there has naturally been strong presumption of 
Persian influence on later Judaism. Returning to 
that point after developing the present thesis, I will 
note here some resemblances in which influence would 
not be alleged. Before doing so let me quote a 
sentence from Prof. De Groot s Religion of the 
Chinese (p. 3) : 

The oldest and holiest books of the empire teach that 
the universe consists of two souls or breaths, called Yang 
and Yin, the Yang representing light, warmth, productivity, 
and life, also the heavens from which all these good things 
emanate ; and the Yin being associated with darkness, cold, 
death, and the earth. 

get the later conceptions of Weltbrande, found in Jewish pseudepi- 
graphic writings (and in 2 Peter), from Iranian sources. I am not 
much tempted, I confess. The matter should come later, but I 
mention it here as I shall not be returning to it. 


I might proceed with the quotation for another 
page, but this sentence will suffice to show that 
Parsism, especially in its Magian form, has parallels 
in Chinese religion comparable with anything we 
could find in Judaism. Prof. De Groot does not 
allude to Parsism, unless it be in rejecting with em 
phasis "theories advanced by some scientists" that 
China s religion proper had its origin " in Chaldsean 
or Bactrian countries," and maintaining that " it has 
had a spontaneous birth on China s soil" (p. 2). But 
if we wrote Oromazdes for Yang and Areimanios for 
Yin, we might well imagine his words to be a para 
phrase of Plutarch on the religion of the Magi. We 
shall have to find extraordinary closeness between 
Jewish and Persian doctrine before we can argue for 
historical connexion, with this Chinese parallel in mind. 
A very fair closeness, however, may be observed, 
if nothing so close as the Chinese. Zarathushtra s 
own name for the spirit of evil, " the Lie " (Druj], 
resembles the Biblical use of " lie " for an idol : cf. 
Isai. 44 20 , Rom. I 25 , Rev. 21 27 , Jer. 10 M . The parallel 
comes out more vividly in the emphasis with which 
both religions enthrone Truth as supremely Divine. 
As we have seen (p. 135 f), once in the Gathas the 
epithet " enemy " (angra} is applied to the spirit of 
evil ; and the term was caught up, by the Magi, 
apparently, to become the normal title of the evil 
deity of later dualism. Curiously enough, the 
Hebrew term " Satan " has the same meaning as 
Angra, and develops in much the same way. That 
angra meant " enemy " was lost in the Parsi tradition, 
which renders " wicked " or " murderous " ; l but we 

1 Neriosengh, hantar. I take this from Mills. 


cannot base any argument on this, as we do not know 
how long what is pretty certainly the original meaning 
survived. But authorities on Hebrew religion point 
out that " the Satan " is in the earlier passages 
completely subordinate to Yahweh ; l and this is 
held to differentiate him from Angra Mainyu, 
who is set in a dualistic opposition to Ahura Maz- 
dah. Now it is true that in the Gathas the 
" Two Primeval Spirits " are thus opposed ; 2 and 
it is obvious that no Jew could ever have allowed 
the notion of an evil spirit apparently coeternal 
with Yahweh, as far as the beginning is con 
cerned. But later Parsism subordinates Ahri- 
man as thoroughly as could be. He has, indeed, 
the power of creation, and not only (like the Satan 
of Job) a delegated power to hurt. But ignorance 
and blindness, and the strictest limitation of his 
power, with final destruction awaiting him at a set 
time, subordinate him sufficiently ; and if some 
of these traits are developed only in the Magian 
process of antithesis, we must remember that in no 
other form would Persian ideas reach the Jews. We 
should, however, go on to note that the Bundahish 
makes the time -limit originate in an arrangement 
between Ormazd and Ahriman, in which the latter 
overreached himself through possessing only " back 
ward knowledge." This transaction (if the Bundahish 
is not depending here on purely Sassanian notions) is 
as alien as it well could be from the whole spirit of 

1 See G. B. Gray, Enc. Bibl., 4297 ; Stade, Gesch., ii. 243. 

2 See Ys 30 3 and notes, also p. 1 32 f. In Ys 45 2 we have the 
sharp antithesis brought out : this is the one place where the term 
angra occurs in the Gathas. 



the Yahweh religion. 1 An actual genetic relation 
between Parsism and the growth of the Satan idea in 
Judaism seems to be thus excluded : how far a 
connexion may have existed we will inquire later. 
Meanwhile we may note Prof. Soderblom s remark 2 ; 
that Angra is not enough to explain the Satan, for he 
does not go beyond his own domain in the corporeal 
world : here we must not, however, forget that he 
is emphatically the spirit of lies, which makes him 
obviously a Tempter. Soderblom refers to Luke 4 6 , 
John 12 31 , 2 Cor. 4 4 , 1 John 5 19 as essentially strange 
to Mazdeism. That religion certainly could not con 
ceive of Ahriman as " prince of this world," which 
is the scene of the great strife, and of victories for 
Ahura marked by few defeats. The difference of 
conception is thus very deep-seated, even though it is 
possible to describe the affinity in words that go far. 
Thus Prof. Jackson sums it up 3 by saying that 
Ahriman resembles Satan in being 

alike opponent of God, tempter of the Saviour, foe of 
mankind, author of lies, a traitor and deceiver, an arch 
fiend in command of hosts of demons. 

To this we may add that the host over which the 
evil spirit presides was recruited in the same way in 
Iran and in Israel. The Daevas, as we have seen, 

1 To a very limited extent, perhaps, we ought to allow that the 
Prologue of Job shows us the Satan parleying with Yahweh, and 
being ultimately overreached by his own proposals. But in the 
Pahlavi theology God makes proposals to the Devil and so ensnares 
him, which goes a long way beyond the challenge of Yahweh in 
Job. And in Job the Satan is not yet the foe of God : they are 
not two antagonistic world-powers. It is here that the essential 
contrast lies. 

2 Reviewing Stave, in RHR, xl. 266 ff. 3 Grundriss, ii. 652. 


were the gods of the pre- Reformation age ; and so 

were the Baalim in Palestine. Milton s greatest 

joetry has made the later Jewish doctrine vivid for 

us, peopling hell with the gods of other nations. 

Akin to this is the doctrine of the fall of the angels. 

The Daevas " chose " the wrong side, we read in the 

Sathas ( Ys 30 6 ), which suggests distinctly that they 

kept not their first estate." Naturally the basis of 

:his statement is simply the fact that the majority 

>f the Iranian people to whom Zarathushtra preached 

efused the truth he offered and " chose the Lie." 

The Jewish doctrine originated very differently, but 

he result is the same ; and in both religions it is 

:qually inconspicuous. Far more important is the 

loctrine of the fall of man. I have discussed this 

iilly in Lecture IV. If my interpretation of an 

bscure text is right, we could say that in both 

eligions the primeval parent sinned by giving for- 

lidden food which should bring immortality, and 

hat the sin was committed through the deceit of a 

emon power. In both again we have the spirit of 

vil materialised as a serpent we may pass over the 

bsence of Azi Dahaka from the Fall story, which is 

f course but a fragment. And in both the con- 

squence of the Fall is the loss of the Divine " Glory." 

J ut in this way, the resemblance is so striking that 

re should assume dependence to be inevitable. But 

lark the differences, which will serve as an illustra- 

i on of the too much neglected fact that by judicious 

election one can make widely varying material 

ppear to be the same. 1 In the A vesta, it is a king 

r ho gives forbidden food to his subjects ; in Genesis. 

1 See on this my Religions and Religion, p. 26. 


a woman who gives it to her husband. In the former 
the food is beef, in the latter the fruit of a tree. 
Moreover, Yima had lost his pride of place long before 
the Avestan story took its form : he was only in the 
fifth generation of mankind Mahalalel in Genesis 
instead of Adam. He has a brother, who treats him 
ultimately as Cain treated Abel, and there are men 
enough in the world to supply him with a kingdom. 
His story, indeed, has features which recall later 
narratives in Semitic saga, for his Var has points in 
common with Noah s ark to say nothing of its 
resemblances to the apocalyptic imagery of the New 
Jerusalem. Since the Hebrew stories with their 
Babylonian parallels are far too old to be borrowed 
from Iranian sources in any period that lies within 
centuries of the dawn of Iranian history, any borrow 
ing hypothesis here must work the other way. 
Yima emerges accordingly as a combination of ele 
ments taken from Adam, Eve, their son Abel, their 
great-great-great-grandson, and lastly Noah. I had 
almost forgotten to clinch this demonstration by, 
the decisive fact that Gaya, the name of the new 
Iranian first man, means "life," and "Eve" was 
understood to mean the same. Many a less weighty 
case than this has been accepted as a verdict ol 
science ere now r ! 

From first things let us pass to the last, and shew 
how Zarathushtra moved in parallel lines with Israeli 
prophets in his visions of the End. The learned ant 
ingenious work of Boklen 1 is dedicated entirely t( 
this subject ; and Stave s Einftuss des Parsismus au } 

1 Die Verrvandtschaft der judisch-christlichen mit der parsische 
Eschatologie (Gottingen, 1902). 


das Judentum 1 devotes much space to it, as does 
Soderblom s great work, La Vie Future d apres le 
Mazdeisme. 2 How far we may go in recognising 
Zarathushtra as a real influence among those which 
ultimately shaped Jewish and Christian eschatology 
we will inquire later. For the present let us again 
note merely the similarities and the differences of the 
two systems, taking first the future of the world and 
then that of the individual. 

Among striking but certainly fortuitous coincidences 
the most notable concern the figure of the " Future 
Deliverer." We have seen that saosyant in the Gathas 
is the term which Zarathushtra uses of himself and 
his immediate followers. He believes that it will be 
his own work to inaugurate a new era, and he pictures 
a fiery purging of the world wherein all evil will be 
destroyed. Moreover, he distinctly implies that " this 
generation shall not pass away till all these things 
have happened." The Prophet died, and "all things 
continue as they were from the beginning of the 
creation." For us, as in the case of one yet greater 
than Zarathushtra, the lesson is that to know the 
when of future certainties, discerned by prophetic 
nsight, is for some reason wholly incompatible with 
"he conditions of a real humanity. 3 The religion 

1 Haarlem, 1898. 2 Paris, 1901. 

3 To discuss the application of this principle to the Gospels, 
mder the guidance of Mark 1 3 32 , is of course impossible here ; nor 
:an I even indicate my own view without trespassing out of my 
>resent subject, difficult though it is even to institute a comparison 
vithout stating my standpoint in this much-discussed question. 
To show that I have not ignored the problem, 1 may just refer 
o a paper entitled " Maranatha " in the Free Church Year-book 
or IQll, and to Religions and Religion, p. 141. 


adapted itself, as Christianity had to do, to the post 
ponement of the great hope. Saoshyant became a 
figure of the distant future linked with Zarathushtra 
by a miraculous birth. 1 The too dogmatic precision 
of Magian thought ultimately fixed a date for the 
coming of Saoshyant. According to the Bundahish, 
as worked out by E. W. West (SEE, xlvii. p. xxxi), 
his birth will take place in 2341 A.D., his two fore 
runners dating respectively one and two thousand 
years before this : the actual Renovation is fixed for 
2398 A.D., when Saoshyant reaches the age of fifty- 
seven. Parsi prediction, wiser than that which even 
in our own time gains thousands of credulous ad 
herents in Christendom, left a good margin of time 
before its assertions could be put to the test of 
experience. Qui vivra verra ! 

As we saw above, Zarathushtra himself concentrates 
mainly on the individual s future destiny, and the 
reaction of that destiny on present conduct. That 
men will be judged at last for all their thoughts, 
words, and deeds, and that their own Self will 
determine a future destiny of weal or woe, is the sum 
of his teaching, and it is the sum of Christian teach- 

1 It is not superfluous to remark that this fact has been pressed 
into comparison with Isai. 7 U and the story of Matt. 1, and that by 
Dr P. Horn, a first-rank authority on Iranian subjects. It seems 
necessary, therefore, to relate the manner of Saoshyant s birth from 
the seed of Zarathushtra, preserved by 99,999 Fravashis in the 
waters of Lake Kasaoya, in which at last three maidens successively 
will be impregnated when bathing, and bring forth several!) 
Saoshyant and his two predecessors, U^syat arata and U^syat namah. 
See SEE, xxiii. 195 n. 2 I express no opinion here as to the 
Matthew story ; but surely, in the name of science and sense, 
we might be spared the trouble of discussing such " parallels " aj 
these ! 


ing also. He is equally in accord when he promises 
the righteous a spiritual Paradise, endless in duration, 
vocal with songs of praise, and bright with the 
Presence of God and the Spirits that surround the 
Throne. Even the imagery of celestial food is 
common to both systems, while the difference between 
" spring butter " and " the fruit of the vine " is 
sufficient to prove the emblems wholly independent. 
We have seen that Zarathushtra associated Judge 
ment with the old mythological idea of the Bridge 
over which the soul must pass to heaven, but added to 
it the significant figure of Cinvant, " the Separater " : 
here we are at once reminded of Matt. 25 32 (and 
Joel 3 U ?). There was one contingency for which 
Zarathushtra made provision, the thought of which 
never came into Old or New Testament. His criterion 
for the " separation " at the Bridge must have been 
the ancient balancing of merits and offences, the soul 
going to heaven or hell according as the one or the 
other predominated. It was inevitable therefore that 
the case of equal or nearly equal balance should come 
into consideration. The Christian system went 
deeper. Every man must be either wheat or tare, 
either fig or thistle, and a mixed crop of figs and 
thistledown is unthinkable. Now of course this 
seems flatly to contradict the facts of life. We are 
mixed, very mixed ; and Zarathushtra undeniably 
faced a notorious reality, whatever we may think of 
his solution of it. The Christian answer would be 
that diagnosis is so impossible to human faculties 
that we cannot even imagine an absolutely just award 
upon any one human record : if we are theists we 
must assume that an infinitely higher Intelligence 


will solve the problem which is too hard for us even 
to set down. Our more practical problem is to live, 
and to bring life to others. 

And what of Retribution, for those who definitely 
" chose the Worst Thought " ? For the Gathas there 
seems to be but one answer. 1 Penal suffering without 
end ill food and crying of "Woe!" nothing less 
is the reiterated threat of the Prophet to those who 
defy his gospel. The Molten Metal, which accom 
plishes the " separation " (vldaiti) of mankind at the 
General Judgement, would naturally be supposed to 
annihilate either the whole being of the sinner or the 
evil that is in him. The annihilationist and the 
universalist theories may emerge in later Parsism, 
but neither seems to have occurred to Zarathushtra. 
And of course explain it how we may penal suffer 
ing without visible end is the figure which in the 
New Testament sets forth the awful reality and 
heinousness of sin. Independent witnesses here, 
most certainly for the resemblances vanish when we 
come to detail, the prophet minds which searched 
most deeply the realities of life agreed that their 
consequences must last beyond any limit that our 
eyes can see. 

One point may be mentioned from later Parsism as a 

1 I must correct what I said in ERPP, 70, as too strong for the 
evidence. Prof. Jackson sends me a note here which I am glad to 
quote : " My own view has long been that Z. preached eternal 
(yavaeca yavaetataeca) punishment for the sinners, as implied so 
often in the Avesta and elsewhere ; yet we have in Z. the same 
problem as with our own Christian everlasting. The Pahlavi 
interpretation always renders the phrase, so far as I can remember, 
by till the future body (tan-i-pasln), or until the Resurrection 


good illustration of fortuitous parallel. Boklen (p. 58 f. ) 
quotes from the Sad Dar 1 a statement that a soul which 
on the Fourth Night proved to be deficient in good 
works might have the necessary amount made up by 
Mithra and Rashnu out of the works of supereroga 
tion accumulated by men of the good religion. 2 In 
later Judaism and medieval Christianity this doctrine 
makes its appearance, and as far as date goes the 
Parsi writer might be a borrower. But it comes 
very naturally out of the idea of weighing merits, 
which is fundamental in Persian thought. The Sad 
Da?~ theologian insists upon that doctrine on the very 
next page, urging that, if the sin outweighs the merit 
by the estimation of a hair, that person arrives in 
hell. He does not seem to remember the other 
statement, which would require us to believe that 
the treasury of supererogatory good works was empty. 
The oversight is due simply to the fact that the 
writer has a different object. When he tells of the 
works of supererogation, he is insisting that men must 
have no " hesitation and doubt " as to the superiority 
of the Religion to all other faiths, with its store of 
superfluous merits for the steadfast believer to draw 
on. His moral in the next chapter is that " even if 
a sin is trifling it is not desirable to commit it." If 
this conception should after all be old, there is no 
plausible reason for supposing that the Rabbis knew 
of it, and as little for the converse : we have only 
independent deductions from rather similar premisses. 

1 SEE, xxiv. 258 : on its date see West s introduction, p. xxxvii. 

2 "This is to be associated," Prof. Jackson writes, "with the 
prayers for the soul as still made among the Parsis after the death 
of one beloved." 


The weighing of actions is a much older example 
of independent coincidence. Prof. Jackson l cites a 
passage from the Catapatha Brahmana to show that 
this is "an Indian as well as an Iranian idea." This need 
not mean that we assign it to Aryan antiquity, though 
it seems to be suggested in the Gathas and is there 
fore very old in Iran. But some of the Old Testament 
parallels cited by Boklen are sheltered from suspicion 
of Zoroastrian influence by their very date : this must 
at least be true of Job 31 6 , Prov. 16 2 , 21 2 , 24 12 . In 
1 Sam. 2 3 we have the same word applied to the 
weighing of actions, in a much older passage. But 
the Hebrew word seems nearer to measuring than 
weighing. 2 It is in any case a casual figure which 
could occur to any writer without help from a foreign 
literature. The really noteworthy resemblances come 
much later. Boklen cites the Testament of Abraham, 
which Dr M. R. James assigns to the second 
century A.D. S Here we have an angel with scales, 
and the case of a soul whose sins and merits balance 
exactly, the total of each having been entered in a 
book. This would suit a Parsi writing very well 
indeed, but even here we ought to be able to support 
the parallel with other suggestions of borrowing 
before we can be sure of a real connexion. 

Before I pass to the formal discussion of the 
problem of historical dependence, I may collect a few 
examples of isolated thoughts which resemble one 

1 Actes du X. Congres internal, des OrientaUstes (Geneva, 1894-), 
ii. 65 ff. 

2 See Driver s note on 1 Sam., I.e., and the Oxford Hebrew Lexicon, 
p. 1067. 

3 Texts and Studies, n. ii. 29 : the passage is on p. 90 f. see also 
p. 70. 


another. I take the Parsi parallel from Pahlavi 
books, the date of which of course makes borrow 
ing from Christian Scriptures abundantly possible. 
Nevertheless, I greatly doubt whether this has really 
taken place : accidental coincidence seems to me far 
more likely. The Golden Rule in its negative form 
stands in a position by itself. I have put it into my 
conjectural restoration of the story underlying Tobit 
(p. 336), because it is found in Parsi writing and may 
be old : its appearance in Tobit may therefore be due 
to the very special conditions of that book. In the 
Bundahish (SEE, v.) we read several sentences to 
which Biblical parallels occur. Thus (p. 114) the 
darkness of hell is "fit to grasp with the hand " : 
cf. Exod. 10 21 . Of the future life it is said (p. 126 f.) : 

They give every one his wife, and show him his children 
with his wife ; so they act as now in the world, but there is 
no begetting of children. 1 

There is a certain resemblance to Luke 20 35 f. A 
striking passage on p. 124 tells us that a righteous 
man who did not warn his wicked friend would suffer 
shame in the assembly of judgement : West quotes 
a parallel from Arda-Viraf, where it is a husband who 
neglected to teach his wife. We may compare 
Ezek. 33 1 - 9 . 2 A distant echo of Matt. 25 40 may be 
found in the Dinkart (SEE, xxxvii. 196), where we 

1 On this see Soderblom, La Vie Future, 269. 

2 I cannot see that there is any real resemblance between 
2 Cor. 5 3 and Bd 30- s (SEE, v. 1 27) : it is at most a similarity of 
phrase. It would be more to the point to illustrate Paul here by 
the Robe in the " Hymn of the Soul," noting that Bardaisan had 
Parsi affinities. 


Whoever gives anything to the disciples of Zaratust, 
his reward and recompense are just as though the thing 
had been given by him to Zaratust. 

From the same book (p. 266) we may quote for its 
resemblance to many Biblical passages, 

Let no one practise ill-perpetrated deeds, even though 
in a wilderness when far from publicity, nor in distress, 
O Spitaman ! because Auharmazd, the observer of every 
thing, is aware of them. 

In the Bahman Yast (SBE, v. 197) we have something 
like the story of Dives and Lazarus : 

I have seen a celebrity with much wealth, whose soul, 
infamous in the body, was hungry and jaundiced and in 
hell, and he did not seem to me exalted ; and I saw a 
beggar with no wealth and helpless, and his soul was thriv 
ing in paradise, and he seemed to me exalted. 

And in the same book (p. 203) there is a closer 
parallel with Micah 7 6 (Matt. 10 35 f.) : 

And at that time, O Zaratust the Spitaman ! all men 
will become deceivers, great friends will become of different 
parties, and respect, affection, hope, and regard for the 
soul will depart from the world ; the affection of the father 
will depart from the son ; and that of the brother from his 
brother ; the son-in-law will become a beggar from his 
father-in-law, and the mother will be parted and estranged 
from the daughter. 

It will be allowed that these parallels have not 
much of a moral either way, but they are perhaps 
sufficiently interesting to warrant quoting. There 
are doubtless others to be found for the trouble of 
searching : we must turn to more important matters. 
I think I may claim to have presented a sufficient 
amount of manifestly fortuitous coincidence to justify 


an attitude of great caution when dependence is 
alleged. The need of caution is the more obvious to 
us when we notice how far-reaching are the theories 
which have been built on the assumption of this 
dependence. It is perhaps as well to remember that 
these theories do not come from Iranian experts, but 
from scholars whose fame was achieved in other fields. 
Were we to count only the Iranists, we should even 
doubt whether the Parsi did not borrow from the 
Jew, for that was the view of Darmesteter ! And it 
must be allowed that, however high is the authority 
of the protagonists in this controversy, they have 
nearly all come to the problem from another side, 
compelled to take much at second hand when dealing 
with Iranian texts. The real Avestan experts are 
very cautious indeed. From yet another point of 
view we learn the same lesson. Nothing impresses 
us more vividly, in prolonged reading of modern 
reUgionsgeschichtlich research, than the tenuity of 
the resemblances upon which historical connexion is 
often built up. Boklen s parallels are to a very large 
extent a conspicuous example in our particular field, 
though they are vitiated still more seriously by 
indifference to the date of his Parsi authorities, and 
to the existence often naively admitted of equally 
impressive parallels from other sources. The very 
thought of fortuitous coincidence seems hardly to 
enter the minds of many most learned and acute 
investigators. 1 The cautions of Prof. Clemen, in his 

1 I cannot resist quoting one extraordinary example touching 
the other side of the Aryan field. Dr Hugo Gressmann, in his 
most able and suggestive book on the origin of Jewish eschatology 
(p. 305), finds traces of my thus in the statement (Isai. 4 1 3 ) that 


introduction to Primitive Christianity and its Non- 
Jewish Sources, are very sane and very much needed, 
as is best shown by the multitude of comparisons 
alleged by first-rate scholars which he rejects. But 
even among those which he accepts, in a thoroughly 
tentative way, there are certainly some that are very 
doubtful. The new method needs much more testing 
before it will give us assured results. 

Before we can begin to examine alleged parallels 
between Judaism and Parsism, we must obviously 
ask when and how contacts were made. That the 
Northern Israelites were deported partly to Media 
clearly cannot help us : later Judaism owed nothing 
to the Ten Tribes, whose religious apostasy caused 
them to vanish out of the history of Israel. What 
of the Jews in the Babylonian Exile ? This question 
concerns the extent to which they had any real 
Zoroastrianism around them. During the " Persian 
period," from the reign of Darius down to the fall 
of the Achsemenian house, the Jews in Palestine 
were subject to Zoroastrian kings, as we see else 
where. The period that follows is very dark. The 
Arsacide dynasty probably helped Greek influence 
in Judsea ; and our knowledge of the conditions is so 
limited that we can neither form conclusions of our 
own nor reject on positive evidence any conjectures 
that ingenious speculation may attempt. What hap- 

Cyrus " trod not the path with his feet " so he translates, with a 
reference to Dan. 8 5 . It is to be regarded as a trait of divinity, 
established as such by the passage in the Tale of Nala, familiar to 
every beginner in Sanskrit, where the four gods at Damayanti s 
prayer distinguish themselves from their human rival by five tests 
of which this is one. Possibly Gressmann only means it for illus 


pened during the Sassanian age does not concern us. 
I should, however, remind those who read detailed 
comparisons in the work of Bousset or Boklen that 
the antiquity of material to be found in the Pahlavi 
books is subject to the greatest uncertainty. We 
may be dealing with faithfully produced translations 
of old Avestan texts now lost, or with doctrines of 
medieval post-Sassanian Parsism. When we add to 
this the problems of date presented by the material 
collected in the Talmud, it is clear that the question 
of interlacing dependence is likely to be often 
insoluble. Happily, I am able to pass it by, and go 
back to Babylon as the place of contact, according to 
Bousset, the most important champion of the theory 
of Iranian influence on Judaism. It may be well to 
quote his summary (Judentum, p. 548) : 

The place where Parsism and Judaism came in contact 
was Babylon and the Babylonian plain. In Babylon, as 
we have said, was the centre of Jewish religion after the 
Exile. And there are many indications that on the other 
side Iranian religion had overflowed its ancient bounds and 
pushed its way far into the west, and in any case had 
attained the predominance in the old Babylonian mother- 
country. When Alexander the Great made his expedition 
to Babylon, there met him in the front rank the " Magi " 
or Persian priests, and in the second the Chaldaeans, the 
priests of the Babylonian religion. 1 In Greek tradition 

1 Bousset quotes Quintus Curtius, who gives us the order of the 
procession which met Alexander when he entered Babylon after 
Arbela. After the captain of the citadel and the presents he 
jrought came the Magi : Magi deinde suo more carmen canentes, 
lost hos Chaldaei Babylom orumque non vates modo, sed etiam 
irtifices cum fidibus sui generis ibant, laudes hi regum canere soliti, 
-haldaei siderum motus et statas vices temporum ostendere. So 


Zarathushtra (Zoroaster, Zaratus, etc.) often figures as an 
Assyrian or a Babylonian. This means that Greek scholars 
travelling in the East found the Zarathushtrian religion 
predominant in the Babylonian plain. In Jewish-Christian 
tradition the legendary ruler of Babylon, Nimrod, was 
identified with Zoroaster. Iranian religion pushed yet 
further westwards during the period with which we are 
concerned, in the form of Mithraism, which was very closely 
related and sprang from the same roots. Antiochus of 
Commagene, in the first half of the first century B.C., was 
a Mithraist, as we learn with certainty from his famous 
epitaph. The religion of the pirates conquered by Pompey. 
who came mostly from Cilicia and Cyprus, must also have 
been Mithraism. Contacts between Judaism and Iraniar 
religion were abundant during the last centuries B.C. It 
may further be noted that the relations of Judaism to tht 
Persian empire were from the first very friendly. To the 
Persians Judaism largely owed its restoration. And in tht 
following centuries it appears to have remained altogethe: 
unmolested within that empire, and with complete freedon 
of development. 

again in in. 3 9> 10 , Darius sets out for Issus with Magi who com 
second after the sacred fire, followed by 365 youths " punicei 
amiculis velati, diebus totius anni pares numero." My colleagu 
Prof. Tait notes for me the limitations of Curtius, who depende 
too much on the rhetorical writers of the century after Alexander 
unless supported by Arrian, who had narratives written by Alex 
ander s generals, his facts are usually viewed with some distrus 
Here one may say there is nothing improbable, though we cannc 
prove that the description represents conditions older than th 
age of the historian. I may observe that the detail about th 
365 youths is simply Mithraic : cf. Jerome, In Amos, v. 9-10 (a, 
Cumont, Textes, ii. 19), where it is said that Basilides made A/3/>d< 
supreme god, meaning thereby the course of the year, "que 
ethnici sub eodem nomine aliarum litterarum vocant M.eiOpa\> 
(Mei 0/xxs and A/2paas alike have letters whose numerical vah 
totals 365.) Prof. Jackson holds that Curtius has " much that 
truly Persian," and would not rule out the 365 youths as standir 
for the solar year. 


The page which follows this has been quoted already 
p. 288 f.). The importance of Prof. Bousset s views 
m the subject is so great that I make no apology 
or completing my transcript of his summary. He 
jroceeds in conclusion (p. 550) : 

One point, however, must be emphasised very specially 
here. Judaism came in contact with Persian religion, as 
we have already explained, primarily in Babylon. We 
shall have to conclude, therefore, that the Jews learnt to 
know this religion not in its purity but when strongly 
tainted with Babylonian elements. This mixture of 
Babylonian and Persian religion must in general be regarded 
among the most important facts of the history of religious 
syncretism during the last centuries B.C. It must also have 
been highly significant for the development of Judaism. 
We must also conclude that Babylonian religion in many 
respects influenced that of the Jews through the medium 
of Parsism, even where a direct contact is not admissible. 
The origin of many ideas which were influential in Judaism 
cannot accordingly be defined with certainty ; and we must 
be content to speak ultimately in general terms of " foreign 
Oriental elements." 

The admission of Prof. Bousset that Parsi influence 
n Judaism must be restricted to the period of 
^ncretism and decadence in Parsism has very great 
gnificance for our problem. Practically it means 
lat Zarathushtra himself is to be struck out of the 
st of the prophets who contributed to the develop- 
icnt of Israel s religion. All the indications gathered 
uring the course of these Lectures have converged 
pon a proof that Zarathushtra influenced only a 
nail circle in the West during the period to which I 
in limiting my inquiry. What was known of his 

caching reached the people living in Babylonia and 



Media only as the Magi represented it ; and the 
mirror they held was indifferently polished. It will 
be an advantage if at this point we stop to ask what 
were the main characteristics of Parsism as it would 
be understood by Jews living in Babylonia and Media 
during the last four centuries before Christ. It had 
lost the very features which bring the Gathas nearest 
to the spirit of Israel s prophets. Magian dualism and 
ritualism were firmly established. The Amshaspands, 
always an esoteric conception, had not begun to take 
their place beside the Yazatas of popular worship. 1 
The Magi had popularised the aristocratic divinity 
Ahura Mazdah, and set by his side the foreign 
Anahita and the Aryan but now syncretised Mithra. 
A host of angels and an antithetic host of demons 
occupied a prominent place in the creed. Religious 
duties included the slaying of (theoretically) noxious 
animals, the performance of tedious ceremonial such 
as we find in large measure in the Vendidad, and the 
pronouncing of sacred formulae as the most powerful 
of spells. With the ascendancy of the Magi came 
the commendation of next-of-kin marriages, with 
which the religion was necessarily credited, although 
these alien priests failed in their long struggle to get 
them established as orthodox. And the idea of im 
mortality must have declined very much from it* 
strongly ethical character. So far as the Magi tool- 
it up at all, it was only as a part of their mechanical!} 
balanced reconstruction : death must disappear in th> 
new world just as mountains and shadows am 
dialects and other unsymmetrical things. As fo 
Zarathushtra, the Magi claimed him as one of them 

1 Except in name : see p. 100 f. 


elves, 1 a great figure of mythical attributes, a master 
>f magic and esoteric lore. This picture, drawn from 
he evidence supplied primarily by the classical 
vriters, 2 may be used when we ask how much the 
lews are likely to have taken from Parsism. If the 
^arsism they knew was after this model, certainly 
here was not much by which they could enrich their 
>wn religious treasury. 

The Talmud states that the Jews "brought the 
tames of the angels from Babylon," which tallies 
vith the obvious contrast between the pre-exilic 
ngelology and the detailed and ordered hierarchies 
if later Judaism. This elaborated doctrine of angels 
,nd spirits was an unmistakably new thing, as is 
hown by the refusal of the conservative Sadducees 
o accept it. 3 I see no a priori reason for denying 
he possibility that Persian (that is, Magian) influence 
astered the growth of this quasi-animistic angelology. 
t was never in the main stream of Jewish theology, 
aul s attitude towards it is very suggestive. Meet- 
ig something essentially of the same kind at Colossas, 
e took no trouble to endorse or deny its truth, 
peculation about angels was for him purely idle, and 
/orship of angels debased superstition : the only 

1 Rightly, as Prof. Jackson still thinks. On this subject see my 
;marks above, p. 197 f. 

2 "But I believe it to be fairly true, if you compare the 
luhammadan writers of later times/ writes Prof. Jackson. Does 
ot their date alone make testimony on such matters almost value- 
ss ? But I need not repeat with how much diffidence I venture 

view of Zarathushtra and the Magi which differs seriously from 
lat of such an authority as my friend. I have stated my reasons 
sewhere, and must leave my theories to sink or swim. 

3 Acts 23 8 . 


thing that mattered was our direct relations with a 
Being infinitely high above all angelic hosts. If we 
are concerned with the question whether the later 
Judaism developed its own new world of spirits, or 
derived it wholly or partially from an external source, 
it seems enough to say that there was a system not 
unlike their own in the environment of the Jews of 
the post-exilic period ; and that, if the specialists in 
Old Testament theology find the later developments 
inexplicable by native growth, there is a possible vera 
causa in Magianism. I do not presume to decide the 
question, and I confess it seems to me to have 
singularly little importance. 

One kind of " angel " who plays a small but not 
trifling part in Jewish angelology is very much like 
the Fravashi or " double," which formed the subject 
of Lecture VIII. Is there dependence here? Th( 
link would be easy to make, for, as we have seen, the 
Fravashi concept on both its sides is no part of Zara 
thushtra s system, but belongs partly to the ancestor 
worship of primitive Aryan religion, and partly to ; 
belief in a kind of External Soul, which may belong 
to Iranian or to Magian doctrine. This had its hom< 
in the countries which Jews knew well during th< 
Exile. The conception accounts primarily fo 
Matt. 18 10 and Acts 12 15 . The "angel" of the litti 
child, who has not learned to sin, stands in the ver 
presence of God. Jesus then gives emphatic endorse 
ment to an idea the history of which may have starte 
far away. And the company in Mary s house ar 
ready to assume that the "double" of the Apostl 
for whom they had met to pray was standing outsid 
the door. These two passages seem to be explicabl 


by the presence of a belief in angels very much like 
the Fravashis on the side which was independent of 
ancestor-worship. The same may be said of the 
; princes " of the nations in Daniel and the Talmud, 
and the "angels of the Churches" in Rev. 2-3. 
These Fravashis of communities answer very well to 
Avestan conceptions. Inasmuch as there seems to 
be nothing in Israel s native angelology to prompt 
such a development, it is not unreasonable to suspect 
a real foreign influence here. 1 

Much more serious is the question whether foreign 
nfluence affected Jewish demonology. Here I put 
DII one side the popular belief by which demons took 
n relation to disease very much the position that 
nicrobes take for us. 2 There is no reason for recognis- 
ng Persian influence of any kind here, though there 
ire some similarities in Persian as in other religious 
;ystems. What concerns me more is the possibility 
.hat the Magian Ahriman explains the Jewish Satan. 
it is fairly pointed out that the idea of attributing 
;vil, moral as well as physical, to the agency of a 
pirit antagonistic to God is late in Jewish thought. 
)ne thinks at once of the Chronicler s assigning to a 
emptation of Satan what the earlier writer attributed 
o Yahweh. 3 Now if we content ourselves with saying 
hat in post-exilic times the Jews knew of a (Magian) 
heory whereby evil came from a power hostile to God, 

1 For a discussion of Biblical passages involved, see my paper 

It is his Angel" in Journal of Theological Studies, 1902, p. 514 ff. : 
Iso above, p. 274. 

2 Prof. Jackson remarks that a Zoroastrian priest said the same 
) him years ago. 

3 2 Sam. 24 1 , 1 Chron. 2 1 1 . 


we may account for the phenomena by assuming that 
it fructified in their minds and helped their thinkers 
to their solution of the great problem. But the de 
velopment of the Hebrew Satan is perfectly clear, and 
wholly different from that of the Magian Ahriman. I 
have already referred to these differences, and will only 
now express the belief that a hint was given and used, 
but used in a wholly original and characteristic way. 
A more hopeful field for the discovery of genuine 
Persian influence lies in Apocalyptic. We have seen 
that Zarathushtra was really the earliest apocalyptic 
thinker ; and (what is more important for our pur 
pose) he was mostly known to after ages in this 
character. Now almost the only resemblances that 
powerfully strike us, by their number and their exact 
ness alike, are found in the imagery of Apocalyptic : 
not the substance, or the religious ideas that the 
literature conveys, but the machinery and the formula 
show sometimes a likeness which we cannot easily 
regard as accidental, the cumulative effect of man) 
coincidences being considered. Several of then 
affect the Johannine Apocalypse. There is the 
final unchaining of Azi Dahaka, the Old Serpent 
which prepares for his final destruction, and th( 
detail that he swallows the third part of men anc 
beasts : l cf. Rev. 20 2> 7 - 10 , 8 M2 , 9 15 . Then there is th( 
falling of the great star Gocihar upon the earth 
which strongly suggests Rev. 8 10 . It may be said 
of course, that these are only from the Bunda 
hish, and that there are possibilities of lateness 
But, as Prof. Jackson notes, the general antiquity o 

1 Soderblom, La Fie Future, p. 258 f. Clemen, Primitive Christianity 
p. 137 (E.T.). 


the Bundahish, as based on the Damdat Nask, and 
confirmed in important respects by Plutarch, justifies 
us in depending on it : we remember also how 
independent astronomical tests have assigned it an 
epoch as early as 40 A.D. 1 An Avestan guarantee is 
available for the parallel between Yima s Var and the 
Jerusalem of Rev. 21. 2 More important is the 
mention in Rev. I 4 of " the seven Spirits which are 
before [God s] throne." This answers closely to the 
form of the Amshaspand doctrine in which the 
number seven is made up without including Ahura 
Mazdah : and it is significant that the same form 
appears in Tobit, which we find to be based largely 
on Magian folk -story. Extra- canonical works like 
Enoch supply a larger fund of parallels. A quotation 
from Clemen s summary will put in short compass 
the points in which an acute outside observer of 
Parsism thinks the imagery of Jewish- Christian 
apocalyptic traceable to this outside source : 3 

The idea of the Son of Man comes ultimately from 
Parsism, 4 and the speculation in this system regarding the 
Primal Man 5 probably lurks behind such passages as 1 Cor. 
15 45 ff. and Phil. 2 6 f. But, more important than this, the 
expectation of a future triumph over the devil, 6 of a 

1 See above, p. 26 f. 

2 Seep. 308, and ERPP, 156. 

2 Primitive Christianity, 368 (E.T.). 

4 P. 154-6. None of the evidence is early, and at the most can 
only affect externals. 

5 Ib. The extent to which Yima and Adam approximate is 
indicated above. 

6 P. 160. This point, as far as imagery goes, was admitted above. 
There is not the slightest reason to assert a historical connexion 
between the two religions in their optimist outlook as a whole : 
cf. p. 155 f. above. 


universal conflagration, of a new heaven and a new earth, 
as well as of the destiny of the blessed, agrees so fully with 
Mazdeism even in details, that here again the influence of 
this system must be admitted. 1 And so, too, the Mazdean 
belief, that the soul traverses a series of heavens, 2 has 
probably influenced 2 Cor. 12 2 ff., perhaps also Heb. 4 W , 
1 Tim. 3 16 , and particularly Jude 9 just as the Mazdean 
comparison of the resurrection body with a new heavenly 
garment has influenced the corresponding passages in Paul s 
Epistles (2 Cor. 5 1 if.) and the Apocalypse. 3 

I might add to these the very ingenious but hardly 
convincing comparison of Rev. I 13 with the " high- 
girt" Vayu of Yt 15 54 (and Anahita in Yt 5 64 ) by 
Dr James Moffatt (Expositors Greek Testament, 
in /oc.). 4 How far we may accept Prof. Clemen s 
comparisons will appear from the notes below. 
I only remark further that the atmosphere of 
Jewish and Parsi apocalyptic is sufficiently alike 
to make us ready to believe in a real connexion. 
Just as the Jews picked up and adapted an unmistak 
ably Iranian story like Tobit, they may very well 
have used the figures and imagery of Magianism for 
their national vision-literature. It is far from easy 
to prove conclusively that they really did so, but 

1 The final conflagration differs in the most important feature of 
its imagery where is the molten metal in Judaism, except (in 
significantly enough) in Enoch ? 

2 P. 171 f., depending mainly on Bousset. The three stages of 
the ascent to Garonmdna in the Hadhokht Nask (Yt 22 15 ) are the 
best evidence of this idea in Parsism. I should not object to it. 
And yet, was not a Jew bound to be influenced by his own language, 
in which "heaven " is plural ? Must we go further afield ? 

3 P. 174. But the one Avestan passage quoted (Ys 55 2 ) only says 
that the Gathas are like food and clothing ! The Bundahish 
passage is equally distant from the point. 

4 Clemen rejects this (p. 154). 


it remains on the whole probable. The debt, if 
acknowledged, is small enough. 

The greatest innovation of post-exilic Judaism was, 
of course, the doctrine of Immortality. Here again 
the stimulus of Parsism has been freely assumed. 
But if my thesis is right, the immortality doctrine 
of Magians in contact with Israel was very different 
from Zarathushtra s teaching. The bare fact that 
the Persians believed death would at last be abolished 
was not a very powerful encouragement to Jewish 
* hinkers in their great venture ; though I would 
not deny that it may have contributed something. 
The real lesson lies much deeper, and with it we 
may close, making no attempt to pursue paral 
lels which only become numerous or detailed in a 
period outside our limits. Zarathushtra s doctrine of 
Immortality rested on a pure and passionate belief 
in the justice of God. Successors endowed with his 
spirit might have developed a serious theology recog 
nising adequately the fact of sin and the need of 
deliverance. But the successors never came. Zara- 
thushtra is a lonely figure, and the mere fact that 
Israel has a " goodly fellowship " of prophets to set 
against his solitariness is quite enough to explain the 
sequel. We might compare him with individuals in 
the long line and gladly count him worthy to stand 
among the greatest of them. But had he stood out 
above them all, he could not have prepared for the 
establishment of a world religion. It was Carthage 
that accounted for the failure of Hannibal : it was 
Iran that made Zarathushtra a voice of one crying 
in the wilderness where but few could hear. The 
interpreters of Zarathushtra busied themselves with 


explaining the world where they should have tried 
to save it ; l they spent in dreams about its future 
blessedness the energy that might have produced a 
diagnosis of its deepest needs, and some contribution 
towards their satisfaction. The result was a shallow 
optimism from which any real understanding of 
Zarathushtra himself might have saved them. The 
very devil against whom they fought was a poor sort 
of demon after all, contending with plenty of noise 
but with no sort of success : he could be conquered 
by muttering a Gatha and killing some frogs. And 
Evil is a greater and more fearful fact than anything 
represented in the Magian Ahriman. The shadows 
were not dark enough because the light had grown 
dim since Zarathushtra s day. I am loth to criticise 
the Magi, for I regard them as worthy of high respect. 
On a far lower plane than their Prophet, they stand 
far above most other teachers of their day ; and I hope 
I have made clear the preciousness of their gift when 
they came to Saoshyant with gold and frankincense 
and myrrh. Yet at best their myrrh was but an 
anodyne for a sickness that called for stern surgery. 
The King of the Jews had no use for it when He 
came to the supreme task. He promised Paradise 
with dying breath to a forgiven sinner, and the word 
came from Persia. 2 But Persia, even in Zarathushtra s 
own doctrine, could not fathom the depths of truth 

1 Here again Prof. Jackson would enter a plea for the " energy " 
of the Magi. He also queries my estimate of Ahriman as an 
<f ineffectual angel " of darkness. 

2 Av. pairidaeza (*irfptTOLxo<;), "walled enclosure/ hence (in 
Persian) "park." It is curious to compare the conspicuousness of 
the encircling wall in Milton s picture of Eden. 


which that word was taught to convey. It was great 
to realise a theodicy, to be assured that the wrongs 
of life will be righted for ever by a Divine Judge 
who will deal justly with all. But Israel learnt a 
profounder lesson still. For the immortality towards 
which Jewish thought tardily struggled, in days 
when earthly happiness and prosperity had fled, was 
more precious even than the assurance that the Judge 
of all the earth would do right. It was developed 
through the ever-deepening sense of fellowship with 
a God who is love, and who cannot suffer the child of 
His tender mercy to pass into nothingness. It is not 
strange that the deeper doctrine came so much later 
to mankind. It was worth waiting for. He was 
great who taught men faith in God s ultimate justice, 
even though to-day only a handful of believers guard 
his sacred fire. They were greater who led men from 
a Judge to a Father, and prepared for the revelation 
of a love that shall win the world. 


THE hypothetical reconstruction referred to in 
Lecture VII. ad fin. is transferred to the more 
modest position of an appendix, lest incautious 
readers should fancy either that I am giving them 
a scientifically restored document or that I seek 
for laurels in the unfamiliar field of fiction. My 
story is only a vehicle for points which can be 
more easily exhibited in this form. I need only 
observe by way of preface that the names are 
chosen from Old Persian, mostly at random, and 
Avestan words translated into that dialect, on the 
assumption that the story was thus current. It 
might of course have circulated in one of the 
other languages used in Media. The specimens 
of Magian wisdom which I have put in the mouth 
of the old man, the hero s father, I have selected 
often on Pahlavi evidence alone, and I must enter 
a preliminary caveat against assuming that Magian 
teachers really used such language at the date 
when this tale may be supposed to have originated. 
I claim no more for them than that since Parsi 
priests some centuries later credited them to 
antiquity, and they are in keeping with the system 
established by research, we may plausibly assume 



the Magian origin of these as of other elements 
actually found in our Jewish Book. 

I proceed, then, to tell my Median folk-tale, which 
we will call 


It came to pass in the olden time, when Azhi 
Dahaka overran the land of Media, 1 that Vahauka 
and his son Vahyazdata 2 gained great merit by their 
zeal for the Religion. For that accursed Daiva- 
worshipper slew by tens and by hundreds the 
righteous 3 of the land, and cast forth their dead 
bodies to defile the earth and the pure waters. Then 
did Vahauka and his son go forth together, as the 
Law ordains, and with them the four-eyed dog that 
makes the corpse-fiend 4 to flee ; and when they saw 
the body of a righteous man, they carried it to 
the top of a hill, and fastened it down there where 

1 Tob. 1 18 ; Yt 5 29 (which connects him with Babylon : above, 
p. 245). The tyrant has not yet become a serpent. 

2 Two names from Behistan, containing the adj. vahu, " good," 
as Tobit and Tobias contain 210. 

3 I.e. asavano. 

4 It was deadly sin to do it alone (Vd 3 U ). The Sag-did ("glance 
of the dog," which must have two spots above the eyes) expels the 
Nasu ( = VEKUS). If a dakhma was not available, the summit of a 
hill would do (Vd 6 45 ) ; see the context there (6 44 " 51 ). It may be 
noted that the "four-eyed dog" appears in the Rgveda (x. 14 10 , 
sarameyau pvanau caturaksau), so that the Magi got this congenial 
item from Aryan sources. The dogs that guard the Bridge (Vd 
13 9 , 19 30 ) are also apparently Aryan. If the ethnic affinities of 
the Magi were with the nomad Iranians, this is quite natural. By 
" nomad Iranians," however, I do not mean necessarily tribes of the 
same blood as the Northern invaders who brought Iranian speech ; 
aboriginals Aryanised in language only will suit the conditions, if 
these aboriginals had kin in India. 


the flesh-eating birds might devour him. And they 
consecrated the corpse- cakes and partook of them, 1 
nigh to the place where they laid the bones in sight 
of the sun, when the birds had devoured the flesh. 2 
And as they went upon the work they said aloud 
victorious words, even those that are most fiend- 
smiting. So they did many days. And one day it 
befel that as they sat down to meat, and had not 
yet begun to eat, one brought them word that the 
corpse of a faithful man lay on the earth beside their 
door. And they left their meal, and went and put 
the corpse in a small chamber, 3 for it was near night 
fall, and they could not carry it away. Then they 
returned and washed themselves with gomcz? and ate 
meat in heaviness. Now, as Vahauka and his son 
thus did the works of Righteousness, the demons 
gathered together against them ; and as Vahauka lay 
sleeping that night in his courtyard, being polluted, 

1 I have brought in the " corpse-cake " here because of Tob. 4 17 , 
which Kohut interpreted by reference to the dron, a small round 
cake, consecrated and eaten in honour of the dead : see West in 
SEE, v. 283 f., and Darmesteter in SEE, iv. 2 57. It must be noted, 
however, that Bartholomae (AirWb, 770) questions the corre 
spondence of the Avestan draonah with this M.P. ritual dron. On 
the corpse-cake in general see Hartland, Legend of Perseus, ii. 

2 The rich were to use regular ossuaries (astodan) : see Vd 
6 50 f. and Darmesteter s notes. Cf. also Casartelli in Babyl. and 
Oriental Record for June 1890, and J. J. Modi, Anthropological 
Papers, p. 7. 

3 Tob. 2 4 ; cf. Vd 5 10 ff., on the rooms for temporary reception 
of a corpse. 

4 Vd 8 11 13 ; cf. Tob. 2 5 - 9 . Vd 8 37 ff. shows that the cleansing 
might be complex, if the sag-did had not been performed. So if 
Vahauka had not had time to complete the ceremony, he would be 
unclean overnight. 


they dropped evil charms upon his eyes, and he was 
made blind. 

Now before all this came to pass, Vahauka had 
left in pledge much gold at the house of one Gaubaruva 
in Raga of Media ; and for fear of Azhi Dahaka, the 
servant of the Lie, he could not go to claim it. And 
his wealth was diminished by much almsgiving, and 
by oppression of the evil king ; nor could he, being 
blind, increase his substance. So as the roads were 
now safe, he bethought him of his gold, and that 
Vahyazdata his son should go to Raga to claim it 
again. And Vahyazdata was right glad to go, but 
first he went to seek a travelling companion. But 
even as he went, there came to meet him a young 
man, who said to him that he was one of his clan, 
and that he knew the road to Raga, and the house 
of Gaubaruva therein. So Vahyazdata brought the 
young man to his father, and he covenanted to pay 
him wages. But before they went on their journey, 
Vahauka called his son and counselled him thus : 

" My son, to obtain the costly things of bodily life, 
never forsake the spiritual life. For Righteousness 
obtaineth everything good. One may not have at 
wish the power of a head of house, of community, of 
clan, of province, or authority over brethren, or well- 
built frame and well-developed stature. But that 
desire may be with every man in this bodily life, that 
he should be most desirous of Righteousness. 1 

" Seek thou, my son, a store of good deeds, for 
this is full of salvation. The ox turns to dust, the 
horse to dust, silver and gold to dust, the valiant 

1 Cf. so far the fragments published by Darmesteter, SEE, iv. 2 
295, w. 90, 94, 95-98 : Tob. 4 5 ~ 6 . 


strong man to dust, the bodies of all men mingle 
with the dust. What do not mingle with the dust 
are the confession that a man recites in this world, 
and his almsgiving to the holy and righteous. 1 For 
they shall partake of the vision of the Best Life 2 who 
most give alms to the righteous and most care for 
them. He that gives to a lover of the Lie despises 
Righteousness by his giving. 

" Understand fully, my son, what is well done and 
not well done, and do not to others all that which 
is not well for thyself. 3 

" My son, thy mother and I are old, and it may be 
that we shall not long remain in this bodily existence. 
When we die, see I pray thee that the rite is done 
to our bodies according to the Law. And for thyself 
take a wife of the seed of thy fathers, and take not 

1 Here I simply appropriate Darmesteter, SEE, iv. 2 383, q.v., for 
his sources. What follows is from the fragments just quoted, 
p. 297 of the same volume. Cf. Tob. 4 7 ~ n , and 17 . 

2 The allusion to the "Best Life " is taken from Magian writing 
of a later time, when they had accepted Zarathushtra s teaching. 
It seemed best to leave it undisturbed. 

3 Tob. 4 14 ~ 15 . The Parsi precepts are from Shdyast-ld-shdyasl in 
SEE, v. 363. There is nothing to prove antiquity about the " five 
accomplishments owing to religion, of which I have selected two 
above. The Pahlavi treatise is conjecturally assigned by West to the 
seventh century A.D. (op. cit., p. Ixv), but he notes that it was mostly 
a compilation from far older writing. It refers to Christians and 
Jews (p. 297), and of course may have borrowed this negative Golden 
Rule from Tobit or Hillel, as far as date goes. But it is at least possible 
that the material here is old, and it may fairly go into this recon 
struction. The precept concerning almsgiving has Avestan authority. 
In Vd 1 8 37 ff. we read that the refuser of alms to one of the faith 
ful is the most prolific father of the offspring of the Druj. To give 
unasked, to one of the faithful, even the smallest gift, is the way of 
destroying this accursed progeny. 


i strange wife, which is not of thy father s kin. For 
ve are children of those who have kept the holy law. 
jreat is the perfection of the next-of-kin marriage." l 
So when Vahauka had made an end of counselling 
lis son, he sent him away with his blessing, but his 
nother wept as he departed. And Vahyazdata and 
lis companion, whose name was Fravartish, came at 
ventide to the Tigris, and the young man went 
[own to bathe. But a fish demon leaped up and 
ried to swallow him. Then Fravartish bade him 
urn and seize the fish, and he dragged it out upon 
ry land. This done, he told him that he should cut 
ut its heart and liver and gall, which they took with 
hem. So at length they drew nigh unto Raga, 
/here Fravartish took Vahyazdata to the house of 
r aumisa, who was his father s brother. Now Vaumisa 
ad a beautiful daughter, named Utausa, against 
r hom Aishma the Daiva of the murderous spear had 
iged cruelly ; for he had slain seven husbands of 
ers in the bridal chamber. But Fravartish told 
r ahyazdata that Utausa was his kin, whom he was 
estined to wed in accordance with the holy Law ; 

1 I have used the words of Tob. 4 12 as they stand, and combined 
;em with a sentence from the Dinkart, ix. 38 5 (SEE, xxxvii. 273), 
hich professes to describe a fargard of the Varstmansar Nask of 
e Avesta. How far the Avesta was really responsible for the 
kvetukdas is discussed elsewhere (p. 206 f.). Marriage within the 
n, if understood to imply cousins, is very probably latent in Tobit, 
id may be safely assumed for its Grundnchrift. Note how Abraham, 
ho married his half-sister, is expressly named as an example 
Jen. 20 12 ). Rebekah was Isaac s first cousin once removed (Gen. 
! 23 ) ; Jacob married his first cousins. Noah, the first example 
,med by Tobit, has in Genesis no stated relationship towards 
s wife. Tobias was Sarah s first cousin (Tob. 7 2 ), if we take 
erally the dSeA<<S of X : the B recension corrected it to dvei/riw. 



and he promised him that he should overcome the 
demon. And so it fell, for when Vaumisa knew that 
Vahyazdata was his brother s son he gladly gave him 
his daughter to wife. But the young man took the 
fish-demon s heart and liver with him into the bridal 
chamber, where he offered it unto the sacred Fire. 
And A tar the son of Auramazda was well pleased 
therewith ; and by the smell of that enchantment he 
drove away Aishma the Daiva ; who forthwith fled 
into Mazana, where the demons dwell, and there 
Srausha bound him fast. And all the household 
of Vaumisa rejoiced that Utausa had been affianced 
to the husband destined for her, and that the demon 
had been driven away. 1 

So when the wedding feast was over, Vahyazdata 
prepared to take his wife home to his father s house. 
He asked Fravartish to go for him to Gaubaruva and 
bring back the gold ; and when he returned with the 
same they started together on their journey. Wher 
they drew near to the place, Fravartish bade 
Vahyazdata go forward with him, while Utausa came 

1 For the spell used, see the note below on the further use mack 
of the appurtenances of the fish. In Tobit the demon flees ets T< 
avwrara AiyvTrrov (8 3 B) or ai/<o ets TO, p.fpr] Atyurrrou (X). Kohu 
suggested that the original was Mazindaran, which a popular mis 
reading turned into D^I^D = AiyuTiTos. The ^* instead of T seemed . 
difficulty to Noldeke, but it hardly looks like a fatal obstacle. Th< 
mountain is suggested by avo> (^), which is more original. For Sraosh 
binding him we may compare Thraetaona binding Azhi Dahaka 01 
Mt. Dimavend in Mazindaran (SEE, v. 1 19). Sraosha is the sped; 
antagonist of Aeshma. It should be added that a good parallel fo 
the spell is quoted by Robertson Smith from Kazwini (i. 132) : " Th 
smell of the smoke of a crocodile s liver cures epilepsy, and that c 
its dung and gall cure leucoma, which was the cause of Tobit 
blindness." I owe the quotation to the Rev. D. C. Simpson. 


on with her maidens ; and they took the dog still 
with them, for they feared lest Vahauka might be 
dead. But when they saw the old man afar off, 
Fravartish told the young man to take the gall of the 
fish-demon in his hand and strike it in his father s 
eyes when he kissed him. And as soon as he had 
done this, the enchantment was destroyed, and the 
old man saw his son plainly with great rejoicing. 1 

But now that Vahyazdata was at home again, the 
time had come for his travelling companion to depart. 
So Vahauka called him, and gave him hearty thanks 
for all the service he had rendered ; and he offered him 
half of all that his son had brought from Raga. But 
he said, " I am not a mortal of this bodily existence, 
but a spirit from the abode of Auramazda. Dost thou 
remember when thou and thy son did rise from eating 
to take up from the sacred earth the corpse of a 
faithful man ? Lo I am that man s angel, 2 and 
I dwell with the seven Immortal Holy Ones 3 in 
the abode of Auramazda. Howbeit I came down 
in the form of that faithful man to bring thee 
recompense for thy good deed and that of thy son. 
But now I return again whence I came. So bless ye 
continually Auramazda and all the Bagdha who are 

1 The spell is almost identical with that by which Rustem in the 
Shah Navneh (vol. i. pp. 256, 260) restores sight to King Kaiis and 
lis warriors, blinded by the enchantments of the White Demon, 
liustem slays him, and squeezes his heart s blood into their eyes, 
^s we shall see, this use of the demon s heart is transferred to the 
rail in the Tobit story, but it is completely in keeping. 

2 On the folk-motive of the " Grateful Dead Man " see above, 
x 248. 

3 See p. 241, above. 


before him, and all the angels of the faithful 1 who 
increase the welfare of the world." 

And with this the angel vanished, and they all 
were filled with awe and with gladness. In process 
of time Vahauka and his wife died in a good old age, 
and their son performed the rites for them in due 
order according to the Law. And after this Vahyaz- 
data and Utausa went to dwell in Raga, where were 
Vaumisa and his wife, and they lived to a good age. 
But before they died they had joy from hearing how 
Azhi Dahaka was slain and the kingdom passed to 
the faithful. 2 

1 Fravasayo asaongm. For the context cf. Tob. 1 1 14 X. 

2 The mistaken reference in the Oxford Apocrypha (i. 201, 223) 
to my discussion on Tobit as in "excursus to Lecture II." is due to 
a rearrangement introduced since the MS. stage, in which Mr 
Simpson read it. 


i. The Gathas. 

ii. Passages from Greek Authors. 

(1) Herodotus, i. 131-140. 

(2) Plutarch, I sis and Osiris, 46, 47. 

(3) Strabo, xv. iii. 13-15, 17, 20. 

(4) Diogenes Laertius, Procemium, vi. 6-9. 

iii. Excursus. 


I HAVE felt it necessary to put before the English student the 
documents on which any account of Early Zoroastrianism must 
he primarily based. He can indeed read them in Prof. Milk s 
version (SBE, xxxi., or the immense monograph " The Five 
Gathas," with the Pahlavi and Sanskrit tradition). But the 
SBE volume was published in 1887, and it is essential that 
the results of newer work should be presented. My version 
disclaims originality. Had I the authority which only the life 
long specialist can claim, I should still think it the student s 
right to have before him the results of Prof. Bartholomae, 
whose massive Lexicon must be for another generation as much 
a court of final appeal as Justi s was when I began to read 
Avestan with Cowell. I have not, however, followed him 
slavishly : all who can read German will naturally study his 
own version l directly. In particular, I was bound to use 
Prof. Geldner s latest views as exhibited in the Grundriss d. iran. 
Philologie and in his invaluable classified collection of Avestan 
extracts in Prof. Bertholefs Religionsgeschiclitliches Lesebuch 
(Tubingen, 1911). If I have generally leaned towards Bar- 
tholomae s view, for all his daring originality, it is mostly 
because his case is accessible in the Worterbuch and its appendix; 
and for the present it may be said at least tentatively to hold 
the field. To decide judicially between two such experts non 
nostrum est. 

I have endeavoured to keep the same English word for the 
technical terms, but not because any one word will always 
represent them. Where these terms are brought in, generally 
with initial capital to emphasise them, the reader is asked to 

1 Die Gathas des Avesta, Zarathushtra s Vers-Predigten (Strassburg, 1905). 



recall the original and the explanations occurring in the body 
of this work, to which I hope the Index will at once give him 
reference. The following are the chief: 

Ahura Mazddh : [Wise Lord] regularly left untranslated, 
though not without reluctance. 

Asa : Right hence asavan : righteous. Rightness, Truth, 
Righteousness, will often come nearer the meaning. 

Vohu (vahista) Manah : Good (Best) Thought. 

XsaQra : Dominion. Kingdom will often be preferable, or 
Sovranty, Rule. 

Aramaiti (Armaiti) : Piety. Or Devotion. 

Haurvatat: Welfare. Or Salvation (see p. 295 n.). 

Amdrdtat : Immortality. 

Sraosa : Obedience. 

A si : Destiny. 

Gav : Cattle (as indeterminate in gender). But 

GSus urvan : Ox-soul. 

Gdus, tasan : Ox-creator. 

Saosyant : Future Deliverer. 

Cinvant : Separater. 

Spsnta : Holy. 

Mainyu : Spirit. 

Daena : Self. 

Maga : Covenant (?). (See note on Ys 29 11 .) 

Angra : Enemy. 

Aesma : Violence. 

Druj : Lie hence drsgvant : Liar. This is always to be 
understood in the technical sense " infidel," i.e. daesya-worshipper. 

Daeva : Demon generally left untranslated. 

Yasna 28 

1. With outspread hands in petition for that help, 
Mazdah, first of all things I will pray for the works of the holy 
spirit, O thou the Right, whereby I may please the will of Good 
Thought and the Ox-soul. 1 

1 See pp. 97, 303. 

THE GATHAS Ys 28 345 

2. I who would serve you, O Mazdah Ahura and Good 
Thought do ye give through the Right the blessings of both 
worlds, the bodily and that of Thought, which set the faithful 
in felicity. 

3. I who would praise you, as never before, Right, and Good 
Thought, and Mazdah Ahura, and those for whom Piety makes 
an imperishable Dominion grow : come ye to my help at 
my call. 

4. I who have set my heart on watching over the soul, 1 in 
union with Good Thought, and as knowing the rewards of 
Mazdah Ahura for our works, will, while I have power and 
strength, teach men to seek after Right. 2 

5. O thou the Right, shall I see thee and Good Thought, as 
one that knows the throne of the mightiest Ahura and the 
Obedience of Mazdah ? Through this word (of promise) 3 
on our tongue will we turn the robber horde unto the 

6. Come thou with Good Thought, give through Right, O 
Mazdah, as thy gift to Zarathushtra by thy sure words, long- 
enduring mighty help, and to us, 4 Ahura, whereby we may 
overcome foes. 5 

7. Grant, O thou the Right, the reward, the blessings of 
Good Thought ; O Piety, give our desire to Vishtaspa and to 
me ; O thou, Mazdah (Wise one) and Sovran, grant that your 6 
Prophet may perform the word of hearing. 

8. The best I ask of thee, O Best, Ahura (Lord) of one will 

1 The souls of his people collective. (See p. 170 n. 1 .) 

2 Truth (Plutarch s d\^0eta) would be nearer here. 

3 ManBra, " spell." There seems a conscious transformation of a word 
hitherto used of mere spells, and destined to revert to this baser use. 
Zarathushtra s " spells " are promises of heaven, by which he will convert 
the wild nomads to the Truth. 

* As in some other places, the Prophet s followers are the speakers, 
joining him with themselves as a present leader. Zarathushtra might still 
be the composer, as in v. T below. 

6 Omitting dvaesa for the metre : the MS. text has " the hostilities of 
the hostile" (Bartholomae in his 1879 text). 

6 As often, the plural joins the Amesha with Mazdah. Note how the 
collocation Mazda x^ya-cd brings out the fact that Mazdah is not yet a 
mere proper name. It would in some ways be more satisfactory to keep " the 
Wise" throughout, and " Lord" for Ahura. 


with the Best Right, 1 desiring them for the hero Frashaoshtra 2 
and myself and for them to whom thou wilt give them, gifts of 
Good Thought for aye. 

9. With these bounties, O Ahura, may we never provoke 
your wrath, O Mazdah and Right and Best Thought, we 
who have been eager in bringing you songs of praise. Ye 
are they that are mightiest to advance desires and the Dominion 
of Blessings. 3 

10. The wise whom thou knowest as worthy, for their right 
(doing) and their good thought, for them do thou fulfil their 
longing by attainment. For I know words of prayer are 
effectual with you, which tend to a good matter. 

11. I who would thereby preserve Right and Good Thought 
for evermore, do thou teach me, O Mazdah Ahura, from thy 
spirit by thy mouth how it will be with the First Life. 4 

Yasna 29 

1. Unto you 5 wailed the Ox-soul. 6 "For whom 7 did ye 
fashion me? Who created me? Violence 8 and rapine hath 
oppressed me, and outrage and might. I have no other herds 
man than you : prepare for me then the blessings of pasture."" 

1 Asha Vahishta was fixed as a title later : in the Gathas the epithet is 
free, as it is with Manah. 

2 A noble of the Hvogva family, brother of Jamaspa, and son-in-law of 
Zarathushtra and a chief helper. 

3 x$ a(lra savanham, eschatological. Savah is a noun from the verb sav, 
" bless" or " save," of which the future participle is saosyant. 

4 Life in this world, also called "corporeal life" or "this life," as 
opposed to "future" or "second" or "spiritual life." He "asks for 
inspiration that he may set forth the way in which this life may be so 
lived as to lead on to another" (ERPP, 90, where an alternative rendering 
is noted). 

6 Ahura with the Amesha around him. 

6 Gus urvan is a being with much the same relation to cattle on earth 
that the Fravashis have to men. He complains in the heavenly council of 
violence done to those on earth whom he represents. 

7 " What " seems less likely. The masc. anticipates the answer that the 
hymn will supply. 

8 Aesmo, but it is not yet a proper name : it is on the same footing as the 
synonyms following. After hazascd the word rsmo, " savagery," is left out 
for the metre it may be a gloss. 

THE GATHAS Ys 28, 29 347 

2. Then the Ox-Creator l asked of the Right : " Hast thou a 
judge for the Ox, that ye may be able to appoint him zealous 
tendance as well as fodder ? Whom do ye will to be his lord, 2 
who may drive off violence 3 together with the followers of the 
Lie?" 4 

3. To him the Right replied 5 : " There is for the Ox no 
helper that can keep harm away. Those yonder 6 have no 
knowledge how right-doers act towards the lowly." 

(The Ox-Creator) "Strongest of beings is he to whose help I 
come at call." 

4. (Asha) " Mazdah knoweth best the purposes that have 
been wrought already by demons and by mortals, and that shall 
be wrought hereafter. He, Ahura, is the decider. So shall it 
be as he shall will." 

5. (The Ox-Creator 7 ) "To Ahura with outspread hands we 
twain would pray, my soul and that of the pregnant Cow, so 
that we twain urge Mazdah with entreaties : Destruction is not 
for the right-living nor for the cattle- tender, at hands of the 

6. Then spake Ahura Mazdah himself, who knows the laws, 
with wisdom : " There is found no lord or judge 8 according to 

1 It is suggested in ERPP, 91 (q.v. for analysis and further notes) that 
this genius replaces Mithra. He is not Ahura Mazdah, for he addresses 
him in this hymn. Bartholomae makes both Gaus taSan and Gau urvan 
share the title of Ahura, which belongs also to the Amesha and to Atar : 
these nine are named together in Ys I 2 and 70 2 . 

2 Ahunm : the word is a common noun here. 

3 Ae$ma here comes much nearer personification. 

4 Dragvant, " one who has the Druj," the standing antithesis to aSavant, 
" one who has Asha." 

6 Asha, as guardian of things as they should be. But the passage is 
significant in that even Asha is not high enough for the purpose presently 
disclosed. Nothing less than Mazdah s own commission will be authority 
enough for Zarathushtra. 

6 I.e. men below. 

7 But instead of him we seem to have Gsus urvan again, who speaks for 
a primeval pair, ox and cow. 

8 Ahu and ratu are correlative terms, in the Qathas denoting the 
prince and the judge respectively, the former executing the judge s 
decisions. At the final Judgement Mazdah is ahu and Zarathushtra ratu. 
See p. 160 f. 


the Right Order ; for the Creator hath formed thee for the cattle- 
tender and the farmer. 1 

7. This ordinance about the fat 2 hath Ahura Mazdah, one in 
will with the Right, created for the cattle, and the milk for 
them that crave nourishment, by his command, the holy one. 

(The Ox and Cow) "Whom hast thou, O Good Thought, 3 
among men who may care for us twain ? " 

8. ( Vohu Manah) * He is known to me here who alone hath 
heard our commands, even Zarathushtra Spitama : he willeth to 
make known our thoughts, O Mazdah, and those of the Right. 
So let us bestow on him charm of speech. 1 

9. Then the Ox-Soul lamented : " That I must be content 
with the ineffectual word of an impotent man for my protector, 
when I wish for one that commands mightily ! When ever 
shall there be one who shall give him (the Ox) effectual help ? " 

10. (Zarathushtra 4 ) " Do ye, O Ahura, grant them strength, 
O Right, and that Dominion, O Good Thought, whereby he 
(the protector) can produce good dwellings and peace. I also 
have realised thee, Mazdah, as first discoverer of this. 

11. Where are Right and Good Thought and Dominion? 
So, ye men, acknowledge me, for instruction, Mazdah, for the 
great society." 5 

1 The cattle are chattels, and can only appear by their patron, like a 
woman with her Kvpios in Greek law. 

2 Mazdah declares that the cattle are divinely appointed to give flesh 
and milk to men. As Bartholomae observes, the form of eipression 
assumes the hearer s knowledge of the manthra (" ordinance ") stated : the 
Gatha only mentions it allusively. 

3 Cattle were the special province of Vohu Manah, but the Gathas do 
not emphasise it. 

4 Justi would make the Fravashi of the Prophet interlocutor here. 
Since the Fravashis are ignored in the Gathas (see p. 264 f.), this should not 
be admitted without strong reason. And in this symbolic poem it is very 
natural for Zarathushtra to picture himself joining in the council without 
raising prosaic questions as to the way in which he could do so. Incident 
ally note how consonant with Zarathushtra s own authorship is the 
depreciatory phrase of v. 9. It is what in Gospel criticism would be called 
a " Pillar " passage, in Prof. Schmiedel s phrase one which is guaranteed 
by the impossibility of later ages inventing it. 

5 A rather problematic word, taken by Bartholomae as Zarathushtra s 
name for his community of followers. But there is great attractiveness in 

THE GATHAS Ys 29, 30 349 

( The Ox and Cow) " O Ahura, now is help ours : we will be 
ready to serve those that are of you." x 

Yasna 30 

1. Now will I proclaim to those who will hear the things 
that the understanding man should remember, for hymns unto 
Ahura and prayers to Good Thought ; also the felicity that is 
with the heavenly lights, which through Right shall be beheld 
by him who wisely thinks. 

2. Hear with your ears the best things ; look upon them with 
clear-seeing thought, for decision between the two Beliefs, each 
nan for himself before the Great Consummation, bethinking 
you that it be accomplished to our pleasure. 

3. Now the two primal Spirits, who revealed themselves in 
vision 2 as Twins, 3 are the Better and the Bad in thought and 
word and action. And between these two the wise once chose 
aright, the foolish not so. 

4. And when these twain Spirits came together in the be 
ginning, they established Life and Not-Life, and that at the last 
the Worst Existence shall be to the followers of the Lie, but 
the Best Thought 4 to him that follows Right. 

the argument elaborated by Prof. Carnoy of Louvain in Museon, n.s. ix. 
(p. 17 ff. of reprint). He equates maga with Skt magha in the sense of 
richesse, meaning generally " treasure in heaven," especially when combined 
with the adjective great in the "archaic expression" found here. If 
Carnoy is right, we must alter the rendering accordingly in Ys 46 14 , 51 11 16 , 
53 7 ; see further the note on Ys 33 7 . 

1 Yusmavant, lit. " like you," apparently means " you of the heavenly 
company," Mazdah and the spirits with him. 

2 x v o-fnd Bartholornae equates with somno, an exact phonetic equivalent 
yielding good sense. Geldner (in Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch (1910), 
p. 324) renders "nach ihrem eigenen Wort." The word occurs in Yt 13 104 
is " dream," and often as " sleep." For a defence of Bartholomae s render 
ing against Justi, see Zum AirWb, 245. 

3 Geldner (I.e.) has now accepted this traditional rendering. Bartholomae 
remarks that the word occurs in the Pahlavi form in the Dinkart, where 
West renders " Ohrmazd and Ahraman have been two brothers in one 
womb" (SEE, xxxvii. 242). See above, p. 132 f. 

4 Bartholomae (AirWb, 1 133) wishes to recognise a second manah, " dwel 
ling" (juoi/rj), to complete the parallelism. It seems very unlikely that the 


5. Of these twain Spirits he that followed the Lie chose 
doing the worst things ; the holiest Spirit chose Right, he 
that clothes him with the massy heavens as a garment. So 
likewise they that are fain to please Ahura Mazdah by duti 
ful actions. 

6. Between these twain the demons l also chose not aright, 

O " 

for infatuation came upon them as they took counsel together, 
so that they chose the Worst Thought. Then they rushed 
together 2 to Violence, 3 that they might enfeeble the world 
of man. 

7. And to him (i.e. mankind) came Dominion, Good Thought, 
and Right ; and Piety gave continued life of their bodies 4 and 
indestructibility, so that by thy retributions through the 
(molten) metal 5 he may gain the prize over those others. 6 

8. So when there cometh the punishment of these evil ones, 
then, O Mazdah, at thy command shall Good Thought establish 
the Dominion in the Consummation, for those who deliver the 
Lie, O Ahura, into the hands of Right. 

9. So may we be those that make this world advance ! 7 

familiar collocation vahi&am mano should thus change its meaning. In 
Ys 53 4 heaven is " the inheritance of Good Thought " ; and Humanah 
was in Later Avestan one of the three heavens that led to the House 
of Song. 

1 Kemembering that the Daeva were the old nature-gods, who got 
their bad character largely through the predatory behaviour of their 
devotees, this verse becomes very suggestive ; it preserves the memory of 
a time when the Daevas had not yet fallen. 

2 In L. Av. dvar is a verb peculiar to the daevan world : see p. 219. 

3 Aesma, semi-personified here. 

4 Prof. A. V. W. Jackson (in JAOS, xv. lix. f.) showed that as Aramaiti 
is in special charge of the Earth, this involves the idea of a bodily resurrec 
tion for those who sleep in her bosom. We might add that it squares badly 
with the Magian doctrine that the Earth must not receive the bodies of 
the dead ; it presumes burial as practised by the Iranians, and notably 
by the Achaemenian kings. 

5 Ayanhd, which in L. Av. was expanded into ayah x$usta, " molten metal." 
It is the flood which is to be poured out on the Last Day, which will burn 
up all evil, but leave the good unharmed. 

6 Lit. " become first over them," irpwros avrwv to use the idiom of 
Hellenistic Greek. 

7 Fwasvm tonndun ahum : the noun of this verbal phrase, fraso-krrati, 
becomes in L. Av. a term, techn. for the Kegeneration. 

THE GATHAS Ys 30, 31 351 

Mazdah, and ye other Ahuras, 1 gather together the Assembly, 2 
and thou too the Right, that thoughts may meet where Wisdom 
is at home. 3 

10. Then truly on the Lie 4 shall come the destruction of 
delight 5 ; but they that get them good name shall be partakers 
in the promised reward in the fair abode of Good Thought, of 
Mazdah, and of Right. 

11. If, O ye mortals, ye mark those commandments that 
Mazdah hath ordained of happiness and pain, the long punish 
ment for the liars, and blessings for the righteous then here 
after shall ye have bliss. 

Yasna 31 

1. Mindful of your commands, we proclaim words hard for 
them to hear that after the commands of the Lie destroy the 
creatures of Right, but most welcome to those that give their 
heart to Mazdah. 

2. If by reason of these things the better part is not in sight ~ 
for the soul, then will I come to you all as the judge of the 
parties twain, 6 whom Ahura Mazdah knoweth, that we may 
live according to the Right. 

1 By an idiom frequently paralleled in Aryan, " ye Mazdah Ahuras " means 
"Mazdah and the others (see p. 241) who bear the title Ahura (Lord)." 

2 Probably best taken eschatologically, though Bartholomae renders 
" Eure Bundesgenossenschaft gewahrend." 

3 So the tradition, and Mills in SEE. Justi (Idg. Forsch., xviii. (1905-6), 
Anzeiger 36) defends it satisfactorily, I think. "Wisdom" is really 
" religion," in the familiar Old Testament sense : from cisti Zarathushtra 
named his daughter Pourucista, a (pp6vi/j.os nap6evos according to the applica 
tion of Matt. 25 2 . The verse becomes a prayer for the speedy coming of 
the End, when good men s "thoughts" (memo) would dwell in "Good 
Thought " or Paradise, where Religion has her eternal home. Bartholomae 
differs widely, "wo die Einsicht noch schwankend ist" ; Geldner has "wo 
noch der falsche Glaube besteht." 

4 That is on the followers of Druj. 

6 Skendo spayaerahyd is very doubtful. Geldner, " der Untergang der 
Macht (?) " ; Mills, " the blow of destruction " : the tradition made spayaffra 
" army," and Tiele took it as a proper name of an angel of destruction. 
My rendering follows Bartholomae, but without any assurance. He com 
pares Ys 53 6 . , 

6 The followers of Ahura and of the Daevas respectively. Zarathushtra 
declares himself to be the ratu appointed by Ahura. 


3. What award thou givest by thy Spirit and thy Fire, and 
hast taught by Right, to the two parties, 1 and what decision 
unto the wise this do thou tell us, Mazdah, that we may 
know, even with the tongue of thine own mouth, that I may 
convert all living men. 

4. If Right is to be invoked and Mazdah and the other 
Ahuras, 2 and Destiny and Piety, 3 do thou seek for me, 
thou Best Thought, the mighty Dominion, by the increase of 
which we might vanquish the Lie. 

5. Tell me therefore what ye, O thou Right, have appointed 
me as the better portion, for me to determine, to know and to 
keep in mind, O thou Good Thought which portion they envy 
me : tell me of all these things, O Mazdah Ahura, that shall 
not be or shall be. 

6. To him shall the Best fall who as one that knows 4 speaks 
to me Righfs very word 5 of Welfare and Immortality, 6 even 
that Dominion of Mazdah which Good Thought will prosper 
for him. 

7. He that in the beginning thus thought, 7 " Let the blessed 
realms be filled with lights," he it is that by his wisdom created 
Right. Those realms that the Best Thought shall possess thou 
dost prosper, Mazdah, by thy spirit, which, O Ahura, is ever 
the same. 

1 Believers and unbelievers. Geldner tr. " die beiden Schulden," that is 
" um Lohn und Strafe zu bestimmen." 

2 Bartholomae compares with this plural, " the Mazdah Ahuras," the 
phrase in the Behistan Inscription, "Auramazda and the other bagas that 
exist." So also Xerxes, "Auramazda with the bagas." He adds that 
Varuna is found in the plural in the Atharva Veda, meaning, I presume, 
"Varuna and his associates." Provided that we limit the Ahuras to 
Mazdah and the Six, with the other Gathic abstractions of the same class, 
we do not compromise Zarathushtra s unmistakable monotheism. 

3 A Si in the Gathas represents the eschatological award to good and 
bad. She is here put in close connexion with Aramaiti, the two nouns 
standing in the dual as an associated (dvandva) pair. 4 See p. 118. 

6 Man8ra, teaching, doctrine : the word later fell to a mere "spell." 

6 So Bartholomae renders haurvatdto a$ahyd amarstatdtasca. I am not 
quite sure that we should not keep the order, with Asha between the other 
two Amesha " the word of Welfare, Right, and Immortality." 

7 Bartholomae links with 6 " dessen der zu Anfang sich das ausdachte." 
See some comments on this stanza and the next in ERPP, 85. 

THE GATHAS Ys 31 353 

8. I conceived of thee, O Mazdah, in my thought that thou, 
the First, art (also) the Last that thou art Father of Good 
Thought, for thus I apprehended thee with mine eye that 
thou didst truly create Right, and art the Lord (ahuwm) to 
judge the actions of life. 

9. Thine was Piety, thine the Ox-Creator, 1 even wisdom of 
spirit, O Mazdah Ahura, for that thou didst give (the cattle) 
choice whether to depend on a husbandman or on one that is 
no husbandman. 2 

10. So of the twain it chose for itself the cattle-tending 
husbandman as its lord according to Right, 3 the man that 
advances Good Thought. 4 He that is no husbandman, O 
Mazdah, however eager he be, has no part in the good message. 5 

11. When thou, Mazdah, in the beginning didst create beings 
and (men s) Selves 6 by thy Thought, and intelligences when 
thou didst make life clothed with body, when (thou madest) 
actions and teachings, whereby one may exercise choice at one s 
free will ; 

12. Then lifts up his voice the false speaker or the true 
speaker, he that knows or he that knows not, each according to 
his own heart and thought. Passing from one to another, 
Piety pleads with the spirit in which there is wavering. 

13. Whatsoever open or secret things may be visited with 
judgement, or what man for a little sin demands the heaviest 
penalty of all this through the Right thou art ware, observing 
them with flashing eye. 

14. These things I ask thee, Ahura, how they shall come and 
issue the requitals that in accord with the records are appointed 
for the righteous, and those, Mazdah, that belong to the 
liars, how these shall be when they come to the reckoning. 

1 Bartholomae notes that Aramaiti and G5u$ taSan are linked because the 
former has the Earth as province. 

2 The nomad of the daevaynsna, a persistent cattle-raider. 

3 Ahuram asaonam : note here ahura applied to a man, who is for the 
cattle what Ahura is to mankind. 

4 A good instance of Vohu Manah as lord of cattle. 

5 Humyrrtois (cf. Skt smrti} is in etymology and meaning much like 

6 Daend, "the sum of a man s spiritual and religious characteristics" 
Bartholomae, AirWb, 666 : see the whole note). 


15. This I ask, what penalty is for him who seeks to achieve 
kingship for a liar, 1 for the man of ill deeds, O Ahura, who finds 
not his living without injury to the husbandman s cattle and 
men, though he does him no harm. 

16. This I ask, whether the understanding man that strives 
to advance the Dominion over house or district or land by the 
Right, will be one like thee, O Mazdah Ahura when he will 
be and how he will act. 

17. Whether is greater, the belief of the righteous or of the 
liar ? Let him that knows tell him that knows ; let not him 
that knows nothing deceive any more. Be to us, O Mazdah 
Ahura, the teacher of Good Thought. 

18. Let none of you listen to the liar s words and commands: 
he brings house and clan and district and land into misery and 
destruction. Resist them then with weapon ! 

19. To him should one listen who has the Right in his 
thought, a healer of life and one that knows who, O Ahura. 
can establish the truth of the words of his tongue at will, wher 
by thy red Fire, O Mazdah, the assignment is made to the 
two parties. 2 

20. Whoso cometh to the righteous one, far from him shal 
be the future long age of misery, of darkness, ill food, and crying 
of Woe ! To such an existence, ye liars, shall your own Sel 
bring you by your actions. 3 

21 . Mazdah Ahura by virtue of his absolute lordship will givi 
a perpetuity of communion with Welfare and Immortality am 
Right, with Dominion, with Good Thought, to him that ii 
spirit and in actions is his friend. 

22. Clear is it to the man of understanding, as one who ha 

1 Bartholomae thinks that here and in 18 we have personal allusions t 
a daevayasna chief (Bandva) and a teacher or priest (Grthma) who wer 
foremost in opposing Zarathushtra. 

2 It seems clear (despite Justi in IdgF, xviii., Anz. 35) that Zarathushti 
means himself : he will fulfil his prophetic warnings at the last day, whe 
their truth " is revealed in fire." For the dual ranayd see Ys 31 3 above. 

3 After Bartholomae. The asavan is Zarathushtra. Dawgam dyu (cognat 
with al6v, aevom) no doubt means eternity, but the adjective is not decisiv 
For " ill food " cf. Ys 49" ; for " crying," Ys 53 7 . Bartholomae takes avaeh 
vaco (lit, " woe ! "-ness of voice) as an abstract from avoi (cf. oval, vae). F< 
daend, the Self, see v. 11 . 

THE GATHAS Ys 31, 32 355 

realised it with his thought. He upholds Right together with 
the good Dominion by his word and deed. He shall be the 
most helpful companion l for thee, O Mazdah Ahura. 

Yasna 32 

1. Zarathushtra. And his blessedness, even that of Ahura 
Mazdah, shall the nobles 2 strive to attain, his the community 2 
with the brotherhood, 2 his, ye Daeva, in the manner I declare it. 

Representatives of the Classes. As thy messengers, we would 
keep them far away that are enemies to you. 3 

2. To them Mazdah Ahura, who is united with Good 
Thought, 4 and in goodly fellowship with glorious Right, 
through Dominion, 5 made reply : We make choice of your 
holy good Piety it shall be ours. 

3. Zarathushtra. But ye, ye Daevas all, and he 6 that highly 
honours you, are seed of the Bad Thought yea, and of the 

1 Bartholomae compares asti with Skt atithi, " guest" : the primary idea 
will be one living in the same house. 

2 X v aetu, vdnzma, and airyaman are, on Bartholomae s scheme, the three 
ranks of the Zarathushtrian commonwealth : the nobles, the peasants or 
farmers, and the priests (AirWb, 908 : see ZAirWb, 118 1). Justi (IFAnz., 
xviii. 39 f.) observes that the airyaman always stands last, " a modesty which 
the priestly profession has nowhere else shown." Moreover, he notes that 
airyaman in the Zend and Pazend of the Avesta and in Pahlavi literature 
generally means " servant," and in Persian " an uninvited guest " one, there 
fore, outside the family. I very much doubt whether there was any priestly 
order at all in Zarathushtra s system. The exclusion of the old Aryan 
aQaurvan from the Qathas can hardly be accidental ; and in the place where 
zaotar occurs (Ys 33) there is no suggestion that it is a separate order. 
Justi would put the priests into the -^aetu^ with the nobles and citizens. 
While I do not think airyaman means "priest," I do not feel satisfied 
with Justi s " Dienerschaft." The relation to the Vedic aryaman, and to 
the divinity which elsewhere in the Veda and Later Avesta attaches to the 
name, is far from clear. See above, p. 117. 

3 I.e. the Ahuras, Mazdah and the rest, as elsewhere. 

4 Cf. Ys 49*. 

6 XSadra, as a quasi-personification of the Lordship of Mazdah, becomes 
the medium of the divine acceptance of the homage of the Zoroastrian 

6 Bartholomae regards this as directed definitely at Gnhma, the 
daevayasuian teacher named in v. 12 and elsewhere. 


Lie and of Arrogance ; likewise your deeds, whereby ye have 
long been known in the seventh region of the earth. 1 

4. For ye have brought it to pass that men who do the worst 
things shall be called beloved of the Daevas, 2 separating them 
selves from Good Thought, departing from the will of Mazdah 
Ahura and from Right. 

5. Thereby ye defrauded mankind of happy life and of 
immortality, 3 by the deed which he* and the Bad Spirit 
together with Bad Thought and Bad Word taught you, ye 
Daevas, and the Liars, so as to ruin (mankind). 

6. The many sins, by which he has attained to be known, 
whether by these it shall be thus, 5 this thou knowest by the 
Best Thought, O Ahura, who art mindful of man s desert. In 
thy Dominion, Mazdah, shall your sentence and that of the 
Right be passed. 

7. None of these sins will the understanding commit, in 
eagerness to attain the blessing that shall be proclaimed, we 
know, through the glowing metal 6 sins the issue of which 
O Ahura Mazdah, thou knowest best. 

8. In these sins, 7 we know, Yima was involved, Vivahvant 1 ; 
son, who desiring to satisfy men gave our people flesh of the o> 
to eat. 8 From these shall I be separated by thee, O Mazdah 
at last. , 

1 " The central part of the earth, on which men live " (Geldner). 

2 Daevo-zustd, identical with devdjusta, a compound found in the Rigved 
to denote what is "acceptable to the Devas." The consciousness of th 
older reputation of the Daevas is latent. 

3 On this see what is said above concerning Yima s Fall, p. 148 f. 

4 That is Grahma again. It seems that this complex sentence intends t 
imply that the human heretic taught the " men of the Druj," and Ak 
Mainyu taught the Daevas. (Geldner s tr., Lesebuch, 324.) 

5 As set forth in v. 6 . 

6 On the Flood of Molten Metal, see p. 157. 

7 Bartholomae and Jackson take aesqm aenanham masc. here, " of the. 
sinners," though B. makes the identical phrase neut. at the beginning f 
v. 7 . This seems to me unlikely ; and as aend in v. 6 must be neuter, I pre f 
to take it so throughout. 

8 See on all this p. 149. It may be observed that Tiele (tr. Nari ,ma 
p. 76, or p. 90 f . in the German) argued for a new rendering which inv folv 
taking srdvl as active (" Vivanghat, son of Yima [a slip in the En -glis! 
heard of this punishment ") ! 

THE GATHAS Ys 82 357 

9. The teacher of evil destroys the lore, he by his teachings 
destroys the design of life, he prevents the possession of Good 
Thought from being prized. These words of my spirit I wail 
unto you, O Mazdah, and to the Right. 

10. He it is that destroys the lore, who declares that the 
Ox and the Sun are the worst thing to behold with the eyes, 1 
and hath made the pious into liars, and desolates the pastures 
and lifts his weapon against the righteous man. 

11. It is they, the liars, who destroy life, who are mightily 
determined to deprive matron and master of the enjoyment 
of their heritage, 2 in that they would pervert the righteous, 
O Mazdah, from the Best Thought. 

12. Since they by their lore would pervert men from the 
best doing, Mazdah utters evil against them, who destroy the 
life of the Ox with shouts of joy, by whom Grehma and his 
tribe 3 are preferred to the Right, and the Karapan 4 and the 
lordship of them that seek after the Lie. 

13. Since Grehma shall attain the realms in the dwelling 
of the Worst Thought, he and the destroyers of this life, O 
Mazdah, they shall lament in their longing for the message 
of thy prophet, who will stay them from beholding of the 
Right. 5 

14. To his undoing Grehma and the Kavis 6 have long 
devoted their purposes and energies, for they set themselves 
to help the liar, and that it may be said "The Ox shall 

1 According to Bartholomae s convincing exegesis, this points to nocturnal 
orgies of daem-worshippers, associated with slaughter of cattle (query, a 
Mithraic taurobolium) and intoxication with haoma. See further above, 
p. 129 f. 

2 Bartholomae takes this of the heavenly inheritance, comparing K\-npoi>o/j.ia 
in Ephes. 5 5 . This connects well with v. 12 . 

3 Lit. " the Grehmas," as we say " the Joneses." This leader of Daeva- 
worship presides at the orgy. 

4 The name denoted priests of the daevayasna, and is connected with 
Skt kalpa, " ritual." 

6 The beatific vision, for which they will unavailingly long when it is 
too late. 

6 A name of Iranian chieftains, appropriated (when used separately) to 
daevayasna chiefs ; but it had become already attached to the names of 
a dynasty of Mazdean kings, so that the term retains for Kavi Vishtaspa 
a good connotation. 


bo slain, that it may kindle the Averter of Death l to 
help us." 

15. Thereby hath come to ruin the Karapan and the Kavi 
community, through those whom they will not have to rule 
over their life. These shall be borne away from them both 
to the dwelling of Good Thought. 2 

16. * * * * , 3 who hast power, O Mazdah Ahura, over him 
who threatens to be my undoing, 4 that I may fetter the men 
of the Lie in their violence against my friends. 

Yasna 33 

1. According as it is with the laws that belong to the present 5 
life, so shall the Judge 6 act with most just deed towards the 
man of the Lie and the man of the Right, and him whose 
false things and good things balance. 7 

2. Whoso worketh ill for the liar by word or thought or 
hands, or converts his dependent to the good such men meet 
the will of Ahura Mazdah to his satisfaction. 

3. Whoso is most good to the righteous man, be he noble 
or member of the community or of the brotherhood, 8 Ahura 
or with diligence cares for the cattle, he shall be hereafter in the 
pasture of Right and Good Thought. 

4. I who by my worship would keep far from thee, O Mazdah. 

1 DUraosa is in L. Av. the standing epithet of Haoma, so that we have here 
a perfectly clear allusion to the old Aryan intoxicant which Zarathushtra 

2 See above, p. 171, and cf. Ys 48 10 below. 

3 Two words in this line, uSuruye syasclt, defy all reasonable analysis and 
appear to be corrupt. 

4 Almost the same phrase in Ys 48 9 . See AirWb, 763, for construc 

6 Lit. " former," as often. 

6 The ratu is Zarathushtra himself, but this does not seriously militate 
against his authorship. One may compare Matt. 25 34 . 

7 See the discussion of hamistakdn above, p. 175 f., and ERPP, p. 98 f 
To the note on p. 175 it may 1)6 added that the old reading hamyasaitt 
is altered to hamamydsaiU, from root myas, to mix, in Geldner s grea 
critical edition, with a decided preponderance of MSS. Cf. Ys 48*. 

s See note on Ys 32 1 . 

THE GATHAS Ys 32, 33 359 

disobedience and Bad Thought, 1 heresy 2 from the nobles, and 
from the community the Lie that is most near, 3 and from the 
brotherhood the slanderers, and the worst herdsman from the 
pasture of the cattle ; 

5. I who would invoke thy Obedience as greatest of all at 
the Consummation, 4 attaining eternal 5 life, and the Dominion 
of Good Thought, and the straight ways unto Right, wherein 
Mazdah Ahura dwells ; 

6. I, as a priest, 6 who would learn the straight (paths) by 
the Right, would learn by the Best Spirit 7 how to practise 
husbandry by that thought in which it is thought of : these 
Twain of thine, 8 O Ahura Mazdah, I strive to see and to take 
counsel with them. 

7. Come hither to me, O ye Best Ones, hither, O Mazdah, 
in thine own person and visibly, O Right and Good 
Thought, that I may be heard beyond the limits of the 
people. 9 Let the august duties be manifest among us and 
clearly viewed. 

8. Consider ye my matters whereon I am active, O Good 
Thought, my worship, O Mazdah, towards one like you, 1 and, 
thou Right, the words of my praise. Grant, O Welfare and 
Immortality, your own everlasting blessing. 2 

1 Lit. " would worship away." 

2 tarymaitim, the converse of aramaiti in usage, whether or no the latter s 
etymology was rightly assumed. 

3 Druj here is like Darius s drauga, an enemy s violence. 

4 avanhdna, Vedic avasdna, " goal " (Ruheort in Grassmann), here of 
course eschatological, ffvvre\tta rov aluvos. 

6 daragd-jyditim, as elsewhere, lit. " long life," but its context regularly 
justifies the other word. 

6 Zaotd, Skt hotar : the L. Av. dOravan is not found in the Gathas, and 
this old Aryan title only occurs here. See p. 116-8. 

7 Note that Vahuttm Mano has here become V. MainyuS. 

8 Asha and Vohu Manah : cf. Ys. 28 5 , 47 3 . 

9 Magaono, which Bartholomae here and in Ys 51 15 renders "Biindler." 
But if Carnoy is right (see note on Ys 29 11 ), it means " the rich," especially 
as supporters of the priests (?) and the cultus. I have doubts on this last 
detail: see p. 116 f. 

1 Cf. Ys 29 11 and note. XSmdvant, " vestri similis," always means "one 
of you Ahuras," Mazdah with his associates. 

2 That is " welfare and immortality." 


9. That Spirit of thine, Mazdah, together with the com 
fort of the Comrades twain, 1 who advance the Right, let 
the Best Thought bring through the Reform wrought by 
me. 2 Sure is the support of those twain, whose souls 
are one. 

10. All the pleasures of life which thou boldest, those 
that were, that are, and that shall be, O Mazdah, according 
to thy good will apportion them. Through Good Thought 
advance thou the body, through Dominion and Right at 

11. The most mighty Ahura Mazdah, and Piety, and Right 
that blesses our substance, and Good Thought and Dominion 
hearken unto me, be merciful to me, when to each man the 
Recompense comes. 

12. Rise up for me, O Ahura, through Piety give strength, 
through the holiest Spirit give might, O Mazdah, through the 
good Recompense, through the Right give powerful prowess, 
through Good Thought give the Reward. 3 

13. To support me, O thou that seest far onward, do ye 
assure me the incomparable things of your Dominion, O Ahura, 
as the Destiny 4 of Good Thought. 5 Holy Piety, teach men s 
Self the Right. 

14. As an offering Zarathushtra brings the life of his 
own body, 6 the choiceness of good thought, action, and 
speech, unto Mazdah, unto the Right, Obedience and 
Dominion. 7 

1 Haurvatat and Ameretat, who were named in v. 8 . 

2 Bartholomae observes (AirWT), 1107) that Geldner has given at different 
times three different versions of this passage. His own translation makes 
good sense, but is far from convincing when confronted with the original. 
I follow him here, but without any assurance. MaeOd mayd he takes as 
lit. "through my change " ; but maeOd in Ys 31 12 means " wavering," which 
is not a support for the lexicographer s rendering here. 

3 Eschatological, like add (tr. "recompense"). Of. Ys. 51 7 . Twice in 
the G. Hapt. we find " the goodfs3ratu, the good Aramaiti." 

* A$i, an eschatological term meaning much the same as add smdfsaratu. 
In L. Av. Ashi Vanguhi is a yazata : see ERPP, 147. 

6 Cf. Ys 46 2 . 

8 The thought is not unlike Rom. 12 1 . 

7 Zarathushtra brings " Dominion " to Mazdah by bringing " Obedience." 

THE GATHAS Ys 33, 34 361 

Yasna 34 

1. The action, the word, and the worship by which I will give 
for thee l Immortality and Right, O Mazdah, and the Dominion 
of Welfare through multitudes of these, O Ahura, we would 
that thou shouldst give them. 

2. And all the actions of the good spirit and the holy man, 2 
whose soul follows with Right, do ye 3 set with the thought 
(thereof) in thine outer court, 4 O Mazdah, when ye 3 are adored 6 
with hymns of praise. 

3. To thee and to Right we will offer the sacrifice 6 with 
due service, that 7 in (thy established) Dominion ye may bring 
all creatures to perfection through Good Thought. For 
the reward of the wise man is for ever secure, O Mazdah, 
among you. 8 

4. Of thy Fire, 9 O Ahura, that is mighty through Right, 
promised and powerful, we desire that it may be for the faithful 
man with manifested delight, but for the enemy with visible 
torment, according to the pointings of the hand. 1 

1 This is Bartholomae s earlier view; he now gives "fur die Du o Mazdah 
. . . verleihen wirst." The other seems to me much easier grammatically, 
and sound in sense. The Prophet declares that he will be judge at the 
last by the message he gives; cf. John 12 48 . This is not inconsistent with 
the supreme Judgeship of Ahura. See p. 167 f. 

2 Bartholomae in his translation (p. 47) takes both of these collectively, 
describing the pious community. In AirWb, 864, he makes " the holy man " 
Zarathushtra less probably, I think. 

3 As elsewhere, the plural includes Mazdah and the other Ahuras. 

4 The pairigaedd is " the place, in later times called the Treasury, where 
good deeds are stored up until the final Reckoning" (Bartholomae, com 
paring his note on Ys 28 11 ). 

5 Lit. "at the adoring those of your company" : Bartholomae (AirWb, 
1404) says "bei, in kausalem Sinn." 

6 myazda, an offering of food, as distinguished from zaodra, a drink 

7 Reading yd for yd, with Bartholomae. 

8 Lit. "those like you " the same word as in v. 2 (note 3 ). 

9 The ayah x^usta, flood of molten metal : see p. 157. 

1 The Bundahish (30 12 ) says, " Afterwards they set the righteous man 
apart from the wicked." The separation (cf. the " Bridge of the Separator ") 
is conceived as indicated by motion of the Judge s hand pointing. Yt 43 4 
may show that the "hand" is Mazdah s, as we should expect. 


5. Have ye Dominion and power, O Mazdah, Right and 
Good Thought, to do as I urge upon you, even to protect your 
poor man ? We have renounced all robber-gangs, both demons 
and men. 

6. If ye are truly thus, O Mazdah, Right and Good Thought, 
then give 1 me this token, even a total reversal of this life, 2 
that I may come before you again more joyfully with worship 
and praise. 

7. Can they be true to thee, O Mazdah, who by their doctrine 
turn the known inheritances of Good Thought into misery and 
woe [ . . ] 3 ? I know none other but you, O Right : so do ye 
protect us. 

8. For by these actions they put us in fear, in which peril 
is for many in that he the stronger (puts in fear) me the 
weaker one through hatred of thy commandment, O Mazdah. 
They that will not have the Right in their thought, from them 
shall the Good Thought 4 be far. 

9. Those men of evil actions who spurn the holy Piety, precious 
to thy wise one, O Mazdah, through their having no part in 
Good Thought, from them Right shrinks back far, as from us 
shrink the wild beasts of prey. 

10. The man of understanding has promised to cling to the 
actions of this Good Thought, and to the holy Piety, creator, 
comrade of Right wise that he is, and to all the hopes, Ahura, 
that are in thy Dominion, O Mazdah. 

11. And both thy (gifts) shall be for sustenance, even Welfare 

1 Bartholomae parses data as 2 pi., which would require vlspam maedam 
(a very slight change) in the next line, unless there is anacoluthon. 

2 That the unseen world would involve an avaa-rdreaa-is of the conditions 
of the present is assumed : the sorely tried Prophet asks for some token of 
Divine favour here and now. 

3 uhuru is instr. sing, of a noun which Bartholomae gives up as 
inexplicable. Geldner made it "energy," others "intelligence," etc. 
Certainly it is hard to defend it from the suspicion of complete cor 
ruption. The whole sentence is doubtful, as the differences of the 
doctors show. 

4 Here, as in Ys 30 4 , Bartholomae (AirWb, 1133) would make mano a 
different word (cognate with jueVo>, maneo), with "Wohnstatt" as meaning. 
But it seems very unlikely that such a combination as vohu mano should 
have an alternative meaning ; and " Good Thought " is a very natural 
name for Paradise : see p. 171. 

THE GATHAS Ys 34 363 

and Immortality. 1 Piety linked with Right shall advance the 
Dominion of Good Thought, its 2 permanence and power. By 
these, O Mazdah, dost thou bless the foes of thy foes. 3 

12. What is thine ordinance ? What wiliest thou ? what 
of praise or what of worship? Proclaim it, Mazdah, that we 
may hear what ordinances 4 Destiny 5 will apportion. Teach 
us by Right the paths of Good Thought that are blessed to 
go in 

13. even that way of Good Thought, O Ahura, of which 
thou didst speak to me, whereon, a way well made by Right, 
the Selves of the future benefactors 6 shall pass to the reward 
that was prepared for the wise, of which thou art determinant, 
O Mazdah. 

14. That precious reward, then, O Mazdah, ye will give by 
the action of Good Thought to the bodily life of those who 
are in the community that tends 7 the pregnant cow, (the 
promise of) your good doctrine, Ahura, that of the wisdom 
which exalts communities through Right. 

15. Mazdah, make known to me the best teachings and 
actions, these, O Good Thought, and, O Right, the due of 
praise. Through your Dominion, O Ahura, assure us that 
mankind shall be capable 8 according to (thy) will. 

1 Bartholomae (with the Pahlavi) renders " der Wohlfahrtstrank und die 
Unsterblichkeitsspeise," ambrosia and nectar, which is likely enough. 

2 Or the " permanence and power " (utayuiti tsvisi) may be that of the 
beatified : there is no pronoun. 

3 So Bartholomae, but his bold explanation of Owoi as an infin. from a 
verbal root with no known cognates (" Etym.? " AirWb, 798) seems to rest on 
slender foundations. (Still, I might suggest that a root Owd is an obviously 
paralleled by-form for tav, with the meaning auger e.) His explanation of 
vldvaesqm (for -anham see AirWb, 1446) as " anti-enemy " is supported by 
Skt vidvesas. But it must be noted that this is one of a great many places 
where Bartholomae stands alone. 

* .Razcmhere means the final judgement of weal or woe : at the beginning 
of the stanza it may be more general. 

6 ASi, a yazata in Later Avesta resembling the Latin Fortuna. In 
Ys 31 4 she is closely linked with Aramaiti. Cf. note on Ys 33 13 . 

8 SaoSyantam. On daena, " ego," see p. 263 f. 

7 Lit. " of." 

8 fraSam, the word that forms the (later) abstract frafOfontl, the Ke- 


Yasna 43 

1. To each several man, to whom may Mazdah Ahura ruling 
at his will l grant after the (petitioner s) will, 1 I will after his 
will 1 that he attain permanence and power, 2 lay hold of Right 3 
grant me this, O Piety, the destined gifts 4 of wealth, the 
life of the Good Thought ; 

2. and it shall be for him the best 5 of all things. After his 
longing for bliss may one be given bliss, 6 through thy provident 
most holy spirit, O Mazdah, even the blessings of Good Thought 
which thou wilt give through Right all the days with joy of 
enduring life. 7 

3. May he 8 attain to that which is better than good, who 
would teach us the straight paths to blessedness in this life here 
of body and in that of thought true paths that lead to the 
world where Ahura dwells a faithful man, well-knowing and 
holy like thee, O Mazdah. 9 

4. Then shall l I recognise thee as strong and holy, Mazdah, 
when by the hand 2 in which thou thyself dost hold the destinies 
that thou wilt assign to the Liar and the Righteous, by the 
glow of thy Fire whose power is Right, the might of Good 
Thought shall come to me. 

1 There is intentional repetition of ustd (bis) and vast, both from the 
root vas (Skt vap, Gk eit<S>v t etc.), and meaning the same. 

2 Eschatological (cf. Ys 34 11 ), as are the remaining phrases : eternal life 
and strength in Paradise is meant. 

3 ASa here means virtually Paradise, as the final abode of the Ideal. 

4 asl$ : on this see Ys 34 12 and note. 

6 VahiSta became in Middle Persian (as in the Turfan MSS.) the special 
name for Paradise. 

6 x v a0ra, lit. " good breathing " (Bartholomae), like ava-jrvoi]. 

1 Darago jyditi, " long life," means " everlasting," as does vispd aydri, 

" irdffas rcU ^/uepos." 

8 The community may be supposed to speak of their Prophet, whether 
or no he himself is author here. Note that he speaks in the first person 
till v. 16 . 

9 On this characteristic division of existence into corporeal and spiritual, 
which cuts horizontally the other division into good and evil, see p. 292. 

1 An anticipation of the End introduces a series of visions in which the 
Prophet has recognised the attributes of Mazdah ; note the change of tense. 

2 See Ys 34 4 and note. 

THE GATHAS Ys 43 365 

5. As the holy one I recognised thee, Mazdah Ahura, when I 
saw 1 thee in the beginning at the birth of Life, when thou 
madest actions and words to have their meed evil for the evil, 
a good Destiny for the good through thy wisdom when creation 
shall reach its goal. 2 

6. At which goal thou wilt come with thy holy Spirit, O 
Mazdah, with Dominion, at the same with Good Thought, by 
whose action the settlements 3 will prosper through Right. 
Their judgements 4 shall Piety proclaim, even those of thy 
wisdom which none can deceive. 

7. As the holy one I recognised thee, Mazdah Ahura, 
when Good Thought came to me and asked me, " Who art 
thou ? to whom dost thou belong ? By what sign wilt thou 5 
appoint the days for questioning about thy possessions and 

8. Then I said to him : " To the first (question), Zarathushtra 
am I, a true foe to the Liar, to the utmost of my power, but a 
powerful support would I be to the Righteous, that I may 
attain the future things of the infinite 6 Dominion, according as 
I praise and sing 7 thee, Mazdah. 

9. As the holy one I recognised thee, Mazdah Ahura, when 
Good Thought came to me. To his question, " For which wilt 

1 " In vision," Geldner and Bartholomae. It is strange that Tiele 
(Religionsg., 100) should have inferred that for the writer Zarathushtra is a 
saint of the dim past. On such rickety foundations are mythological 
theories based ! 

2 Lit. "at the last turning-point of creation" the frasdkarsti. 

3 GaeBa, " Haus und Hof," Bartholomae : so Mills and the Pahlavi. 
Geldner, " die Leute." 

4 Aeibyd Bartholomae takes as ablative, referring back to the ahuras just 
named. Geldner would take ratuS in its regular personal sense 
Bartholomae gives no other ex. for indicium and renders "Diesen (den 
frommen Menschen) proklamiert Armaiti die geistlichen Herren deines 

6 So Bartholomae, parsing dlSCi as 2 sg. aor. mid. from does. Geldner 
makes it 1 sg. (act. subj.). 

6 vasasa-xSadra : so Bartholomae, making it a compound, lit. " sovranty 
at will." Geldner separates vasasa and renders " nach meinem Wunsch." 

7 vaf, properly to " weave," used of the artistic fitting together of words 
cf. fra-nrtiv aoiSrii/. The word is interesting from its suggestion of a 
poetical tradition, first cousin to the Vedic. 


thou decide ? " (I made reply), " At the gift of adoration to thy 
Fire, I will bethink me of Right so long as I have power. 

10. Then show me Right, upon whom I call."" 

Mazdah. " Associating him l with Piety, I have come hither. 
Ask us now what things we are here for thee to ask. For thine 
asking is as that of a mighty one, since he that is able should 
make thee as a mighty one possessed of thy desire." 

11. As the holy one I recognised thee, Mazdah Ahura, when 
Good Thought came to me, when first by your words I was 
instructed. Shall it bring me sorrow among men, my devotion, 
in doing that which ye tell me is the best ? 

12. And when thou saidst to me, " To Right shalt thou go 
for teaching," then thou didst not command what I did not 
obey : " Speed thee, 2 ere my Obedience 3 come, followed by 
treasure-laden Destiny, who shall render to men severally the 
destinies of the twofold award." 

13. As the holy one I recognised thee, Mazdah Ahura, when 
Good Thought came to me to learn the state of my desire. 
Grant it me, that which none may compel you to allow, (the 
wish) for long continuance of blessed existence that they say is 
in thy Dominion. 

14. If thy provident aid, such as an understanding man who 
has the power would give to his friend, comes to me by thy 
Dominion through Right, then to set myself in opposition 
against the foes of thy Law, together with all those who are 
mindful of thy words ! 

15. As the holy one I recognised thee, Mazdah Ahura, when 
Good Thought came to me, when the still mind taught me to 
declare what is best 4 : " Let not a man seek again and again to 
please the Liars, for they make all the righteous enemies." 5 

16. And thus Zarathushtra himself, O Ahura, chooses that 

1 Lit. " it," for Asa is neuter. 

2 To the work of propaganda. Bartholomae observes, " The renovation 
(Tauglichmachung) of mankind must be accomplished speedily, for the 
beginning of the Second Life is conceived as near at hand : cf. Matt. 
3 2 , 4 17 ." See p. 159. 

3 SraoSa, later associated with the Amshaspands. He is an angel of 
Judgement : see p. 169. 

4 vahiStd might be an epithet of tusndmaitis (which seems to be a 
conscious parallel to Aramaiti), but the other is better. angra. 

THE GATHAS Ys 43, 44 367 

spirit of thine that is holiest, Mazdah. May Right be embodied, 
full of life and strength ! May Piety abide in the Dominion 
where the sun shines ! May Good Thought give destiny to men 
according to their works ! 

1. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura as to prayer, how 
it should be to one of you. 1 O Mazdah, might one like thee l 
teach it to his friend such as I am, 1 and through friendly Right 
give us support, that Good Thought may come unto us. 

2. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether at the 
beginning of the Best Existence the recompenses shall bring 
blessedness to him that meets with them. Surely he, O Right, 
the holy one, who watches in his spirit the transgression of all, 
is himself the benefactor unto all that lives, O Mazdah. 2 

3. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who is by genera 
tion the Father of Right, at the first? Who determined the path 
of sun and stars ? Who is it by whom the moon waxes and 
wanes again? This, O Mazdah, and yet more, I am fain to know. 

4. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who upheld the 
earth beneath and the firmament from falling ? Who the 
waters and the plants ? Who yoked swiftness to winds and 
clouds ? Who is, O Mazdah, creator of Good Thought ? 

5. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. What artist made 
light and darkness ? 3 What artist made sleep and waking ? 
Who made morning, noon, and night, that call the understand 
ing man to his duty ? 

6. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether what I shall 
proclaim is verily the truth. Will Right with its actions give 
aid (at the last) ? will Piety ? Will Good Thought announce 
from thee the Dominion ? For whom hast thou made the 
pregnant cow 4 that brings good luck ? 

7. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who created 

1 On tliese words \smavant, eivdvant, mavant, which may mean nearly 
the same as the pronoun without the possessive suffix, see note on p. 359. 

2 I have attempted a rimed version of these two stanzas as an experiment 
in ERPP, 102 f. 

3 On this striking contrast to the Magian dualism, see p. 291. 

4 " In Zarathushtra s teaching the symbol of good fortune : cf. Ys 47 3 , 
50 2 " (Bartholomae). 


together with Dominion the precious Piety? Who made by 
wisdom the son obedient to his father ? I strive to recognise 
by these things thee, O Mazdah, creator of all things through 
the holy spirit. 

8. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. I would keep in 
mind thy design, O Mazdah, and understand aright the maxims 
of life which I ask of Good Thought and Right. How will my 
soul partake of the good that gives increase ? 

9. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether for the 
Self 1 that I would bring to perfection, that of the man of 
insight, the Lord of the Dominion would make me promises of 
the sure Dominion, one of thy likeness, 2 O Mazdah, who dwells 
in one abode 3 with Good Thought. 

10. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. The Religion 4 
which is the best for (all) that are, which in union with Right 
should prosper all that is mine, will they duly observe it, the 
religion of my creed, with the words and action of Piety, in 
desire for thy (future) good things, O Mazdah ? 

11. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether Piety 
will extend to those to whom thy Religion 4 shall be proclaimed : 
I was ordained at the first by thee : all others I look upon with 
hatred of spirit. 

12. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who among thost 
with whom I would speak is a righteous man, and who a liar ? ; 
On which side is the enemy ? 6 (On this), or is he the enemy 
the Liar 5 who opposes thy blessings ? 7 How shall it be with 
him ? Is he not to be thought of as an enemy ? 

13. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether we shal 

1 Daena : see p. 263 f. Bartholomae notes, as important for the conneiioi 
with the " soul " of v. 8 , that daena also means " religion," as it does in v. 10 . 

2 dwdvant : see note on p. 359. 

3 Hadam. The Greek tru^/So^os suggests itself, and Strabo s mentior 
(p. 512) of rJ> TTJS AvoiViSoj Kal TUV avfa^tajJ-uv Oeuv lepbv . . . Hfj.dvov Kal AvaSaroi 
nepa-iKcai/ Saipdvuv. Two Amshaspands accordingly were a-v /x/foftoi ii 
Cappadocia, in a shrine of Anahita. The point is discussed above, p. 100 f 

4 Daena : see note on v. 9 . 

5 Of course in the technical sense, following the Druj instead of Ah. 

6 angra, which Dr Casartelli (p. 137 n. above) would like to keep as ai 
allusion to Ahriman. Geldner renders "Art thou thyself the enemy, o 
is he . . . ?" See p. 135 n. 7 Those of the future life. 

THE GATHAS Ys 44 369 

drive the Lie away from us to those who being full of dis 
obedience will not strive after fellowship with Right, nor trouble 
themselves with counsel of Good Thought. 

14. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether I could 
put the Lie into the hands of Right, to cast her down by the 
words of thy lore, to work a mighty destruction among the 
Liars, to bring torments upon them and enmities, O Mazdah. 

15. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura if thou hast power 
over this to ward it off from me through Right, when the two 
opposing hosts l meet in battle according to those decrees which 
thou wilt firmly establish. Whether is it of the twain that 
;thou wilt give victory ? 

16. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. Who is victorious 
to protect by thy doctrine (all) that are ? By vision assure me 
how to set up the judge that heals the world. 2 Then let him 
have Obedience coming with Good Thought unto every man 
whom thou desirest, O Mazdah. 

17. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether through 
you I shall attain my goal, O Mazdah, even attachment unto 
you, and that my voice may be effectual, that Welfare and 
Immortality may be ready to unite according to that promise 
with him who joins himself with Right. 

18. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura whether I shall 
ndeed, Right, earn that reward, even ten mares with a stallion 
md a camel, 3 which was promised to me, O Mazdah, as well as 
through thee the future gift of Welfare and Immortality. 

19. This I ask thee, tell me truly, Ahura. He that will not 
*ive that reward to him that earns it, even to the man who 
ulfilling his word gives him (what he undertook) what penalty 
hall come to him for the same at this present ? I know that 
vhich shall come to him at the last. 

1 spadd (cf. M.P. sipah, whence our sepoy), the hosts of Mazdayasnians 
-nd Daevayasnians ; or perhaps rather the spiritual forces in the great 
Armageddon that precedes the Renovation. 

2 This seems to be Zarathushtra himself he is praying for a vision that 
nay openly confirm his designation as a prophet. 

3 See p. 155. It is sufficiently obvious that this is a touch of reality, 
nough to reduce to absurdity any theory that makes these Gathas move in 
he sphere of the mystical and the mythical alone. 


20. Have the Daevas ever exercised good dominion ? And 
this I ask of those who see how for the Daevas 1 sake the 
Karapan and the Usij 1 gave the cattle to violence, 2 and how 
the Kavi l made them continually to mourn, instead of taking 
care 3 that they may make the pastures prosper through Right. 

Yasna 45 

1. I will speak forth: hear now and hearken now, ye from 
near and ye from far that desire (instruction). Now observe 
him 4 in your mind, all of you, for he is revealed. Never shall 
the false Teacher destroy the Second Life, 5 the Liar, in perversion 
by his tongue unto evil belief. 

2. I will speak of the Spirits twain at the first beginning of 
the world, 6 of whom the holier thus spake to the enemy : 7 
" Neither thought nor teachings nor wills nor beliefs nor words 
nor deeds nor selves 8 nor souls of us twain agree." 

3. I will speak of that which Mazdah Ahura, the all-knowing, 
revealed to me first in this (earthly) life. 9 Those of you that 
put not in practice this word as I think and utter it, to them 
shall be woe at the end of life. 

1 See above, pp. 140, 357. 2 aeSma see p. 130. 

3 This rendering of Bartholomae s involves the making of a new verb 
maez, for which the lexicographer can give no parallel nearer than the 
Middle High German smeichen "schon tun." I am strongly tempted 
by Prof. Sdderblom s argument (RHR, 1909, p. 334 f.), but neither In 
nor Prof. Geldner (Lesebuch, 325) seems altogether to solve the difficult} 
of getting the ordinary root, maez (mingere Skt meh}, to work in here 
are we to think of liquid manure ? 

4 The absence of indication who is meant may possibly be put dowr 
with the signs that the Gathas have a context that is lost. Geldner under 
stands the false teacher to be intended, Bartholomae Ahura Mazdah : th< 
former seems to be more probable. 

5 The Future Life. It is possible also to render " never again shall hi 
destroy life " (so Geldner). 

6 anhmS, the word rendered " life " in v. 1 . 

7 anrdin : this is the one occurrence of the afterwards stereotyped title ii 
the Gathas : see p. 135. 

8 Daend : see note on Ys 44 9 . 

9 Geldner, " as first (most important) in this life" ; Bartholomae, "at th 
beginning of this life," which matches the use elsewhere, but only suits th 
context if it means that the revelation concerns the immediate present. 

THE GATHAS Ys 44, 45 371 

4. I will speak of what is best l for this life. Through Right 
doth Mazdah know it, 2 who created the same as father of the 
active Good Thought, and the daughter thereof is Piety of 
goodly action. Not to be deceived is the all-seeing Ahura. 

, i. I will speak of that which the Holiest declared to me as 
the word that is best for mortals to obey : he, Mazdah Ahura 
(said), " They who at my bidding render him 3 obedience, shall 
all attain unto Welfare and Immortality by the actions of the 
Good Spirit." 

6. I will speak of him that is greatest of all, praising him, 
Right, who is bounteous to all that live. By the holy spirit 
let Mazdah Ahura hearken, in whose adoration I have been 
instructed by Good Thought. By his wisdom let him teach me 
what is best, 

7. even he whose two awards, whereof he ordains, men shall 
attain, whoso are living or have been or shall be. In immortality 4 
shall the soul of the righteous be joyful, in perpetuity shall be 
the torments of the Liars. All this doth Mazdah Ahura 
appoint by his Dominion. 

8. Him thou shouldst seek to bring to us by praises of 
worship. " Now have I seen it with mine eye, that which is of 
the good spirit and of (good) action and word, knowing by 
Right Mazdah Ahura." May we offer him homage in the 
House of Song ! 

9. Him thou shouldst seek to propitiate for us together with 
Good Thought, who at his will maketh us weal or woe. May 
Mazdah Ahura by his Dominion bring us to work, for prospering 

1 The Pahlavi characteristically glosses this as the next-of-kin marriage ! 
We can safely assume that the vahiStam is the good doctrine of agriculture 
as practical virtue. 

2 Both Geldner and Bartholomae render " I have learnt it, Mazdah," 
reading Mazda. But there seems no gain in bringing in the address. What 
we seem to need here is an accus. Mazdam (cf. Mills, Gathas, p. 541), which 
would enable us to recognise Mazdah as the " Father " of Vohu Manah and 
Aramaiti, as regularly in later times. The MSS. waver between Mazda 
and Mazda (nom.). With Mazdam we should render : "Through Right I 
know Mazdah, who created it [sc. this best thing in life], as father of the 
active Good Thought, and his daughter is Aramaiti." 

3 Zarathushtra. 

4 Ammtditi : Bartholomae renders " in eternity," as in Ys 48 1 : see p. 1 73. 


our beasts and our men, so that we may through Right have 
familiarity with Good Thought. 

10. Him thou shouldst seek to exalt with prayers of Piety, 
him that is called Mazdah Ahura 1 for ever, for that he hath 
promised through his own Right and Good Thought that 
Welfare and Immortality shall be in his Dominion, 2 strength 
and perpetuity in his house. 

11. Whoso therefore in the future lightly esteemeth the 
Daevas and those mortals who lightly esteem him 3 even all 
others save that one who highly esteemeth him, unto him shall 
the holy Self of the future deliverer, 4 as Lord of the house, be 
friend, brother, or father, O Mazdah Ahura. 

Yasna 46 

1. To what land shall I go to flee, whither to flee ? From 
nobles and my peers they sever me, nor are the people 6 pleased 
with me [ . . . 6 ], nor the Liar rulers of the land. How am I 
to please thee, Mazdah Ahura ? 

2. I know wherefore I am without success, Mazdah : (because) 
few cattle are mine, and for that I have but few folk. I cry 
unto thee, see thou to it, Ahura, granting me support as friend 
gives to friend. Teach me by the Right the acquisition 7 of 
Good Thought. 

1 "Wise Lord" the title needs translating. 

2 All the Amshaspands are named here, and in marked dependence on 
Ahura. Note, however, that the dvandva hvlsl utayuiti (p. 114) in the last 
line is exactly parallel with haurvatdta amarstdtd, a similar pair of duals, 
in the line above, nor is there any real difference between Mazdah s 
" Dominion " and his "House." So the Amshaspands are no closed com 
munity. See above, p. 96 f. 3 See v. 6 

4 Saosyant, that is Zarathushtra himself, in that he believed he would in 
his own lifetime bring the eschatological Renovation. Note the curious 
verbal parallel to Mark 3 35 , with dmg pati ( = 5t<nr6rr)s) recalling Matt. 13 2 
and 20. 1 Of. notes in ERPP, 106 f. 

5 These are the three social divisions : see p. 117 f. 

6 The word hacd is corrupt and has not been successfully emended. I 
seems to have disappeared before the Pahlavi translation, in which it i 

7 Utlm. Geldner, " Streben nach," which is attractive, connecting it wit! 
Izd. Bartholomae understands it as a prayer that Paradise may be revealec 
so as to spur men to good life : he compares Ys 28 6 , 30 4 , 31 3 , 44 10 , 47 6 , 48 2 . 

THE GATHAS Ys 45, 46 373 

3. When, Ma/dah, shall the sunrisings x come forth for the 
world s winning of Right, through the powerful teachings of 
the wisdom of the future Deliverers ? 2 Who are they to whose 
help Good Thought shall come ? 3 I have faith that thou wilt 
thyself fulfil this for me, O Ahura. 

4. The Liar stays the supporters of Right from prospering 
the cattle in district and province, infamous that he is, repellant 
by his actions. Whoso, Mazdah, robs him of dominion or of 
life, he shall go before and prepare the ways of the good belief. 4 

5. If an understanding man should be able to hold one who 
comes over from his vow and his ties of faith, 5 himself having 
brought him thereto, and living after the ordinance, a righteous 
man (converting) a Liar then shall he tell it to the nobles, 
that they may protect him from injury, O Mazdah Ahura. 6 

6. But whoso when thus approached should refuse his aid, 
he shall go to the abodes of the company of the Lie. For he 
is himself a Liar who is very good to a Liar, he is a righteous 
man to whom a righteous man is dear ; since thou createdst 
men s Selves in the beginning, 7 Ahura. 

7. Whom, O Mazdah, can one appoint as protector for one 
like me, when the Liar sets himself to injure me, other than 

1 A difficult word, as to which Bartholomae has now (Zum AirWb, 145 f.) 
changed his view, in consequence of a criticism by Justi (Indog. Forsch. 
Anzeiger, xviii. 21). Eeturning to an old suggestion of his own, he regards 
a&i<jm ux$an as influenced by hu vax$a "sunrise," from a transitive sense of 
vax$, " der die Tage emporsteigen lasst," a description of the Dawn. Justi 
translates with the Pahlavi "increasers of the days," referring to the 
SaoSyanto. Bartholomae objects that in Ys 50 10 the same phrase must 
apply to the dawn. 

2 See n. 6 on previous page. 

3 Both lines concern the " Future Deliverers," that is, in Zarathushtra s 
thought, himself and his comrades in the work of the Faith. 

4 Bartholomae observes that this is a hint to Vishtaspa that he should 
wage war with the Daevayasnian chiefs. If so, we have presumably passed 
the point in this certainly composite hymn where the conditions of the 
opening apply. There the Prophet is helpless and friendless : the royal 
convert has not yet been won, as he clearly has been in v. 14 . 

5 mieroibyo the sole occurrence of the word miQra in the Gathas, in the 
sense " compact" which is common later. See p. 63. 

8 Here accordingly it is assumed that the xaetu (see on v. 1 ) is on the side 
of the Faith : cf. note on v. 4 . 
7 Cf. Ys 31", and p. 263 above. 


thy Fire and thy Thought, 1 through the actions of which twain 
the Right will come to maturity, O Ahura ? In this lore 2 do 
thou instruct my very Self. 

8. Whoso is minded to injure my possessions, from his actions 
may no harm come to me ! Back upon himself may they come 
with hostility, against his own person, all the hostile (acts), to 
keep him far from the Good Life, Mazdah, not from the ill ! 

9. Who is it, a faithful man he, who first taught that we 
honour thee as mightiest to help, as the holy righteous Lord 3 
over action ? What thy Right made known, what the Ox-creator 4 
made known to Right, they would fain hear through thy Good 

10. W hoso, man or woman, doeth what thou, Mazdah Ahura, 
knowest as best in life, as destiny for what is Right (give him) 
the Dominion through Good Thought. And those whom I 
impel to your adoration, 5 with all these will I cross the Bridge 
of the Separater. 6 

11. By their dominion the Karapans and Kavis 7 accustomed 
mankind to evil actions, so as to destroy Life. Their own soul 
and their own self shall torment them 8 when they come where 
the Bridge of the Separater is, to all time dwellers in the House 
of the Lie. 

12. When among the laudable descendants and posterity of the 
Turanian Fryana 9 the Right ariseth, through activity of Piety 

Thought" is the same as "Good" or "Best Thought," the 
Amshaspand : see p. 97. Note the close linking of Atar and Vohumanah. 

2 dastvd, whence the Modern Persian dast, that gives the title Dastur. 

3 Ahurm, which here must be translated. 

4 On gang taSan, see p. 347. 

6 xsnidvatam, " those like you (Ahuras) " : see p. 359. 

6 See p. 164 f. 

7 See p. 357. 

8 See p. 263 f. 

9 The Turanians became the traditional enemies of Iran : such names a; 
Franrasyan (Afrasiab) and Arjat-aspa (Arjasp) are noted in the epics oi 
Iranian saga. The hostility was one of culture and religion, betweei: 
Mazdah and the Daevas, between agriculturists and nomads. Fryana is 
proof that individuals might cross over : his clan is heard of in the Latei 
Avesta in terms agreeing with this stanza. Of. West in SEE, xxxvii. 280 
Bartholomae calls Tura " an Iranian tribe outside Vishtaspa s dominion, no) 
yet converted, but not hostile to the new faith " that is in Gathic times. 

THE GATHAS Ys 46 375 

that blesseth substance ; then shall Good Thought admit them, 
and Mazdah Ahura give them protection at the Fulfilment. 1 

13. Whoso among mortals has pleased Spitama Zarathushtra 
by his willingness, a man deserving to have good fame, to him shall 
Mazdah Ahura give Life, to him shall Good Thought increase sub 
stance, him we account to be a familiar friend with your Right. 

14. Mazdah. O Zarathushtra, what righteous man is thy 
friend for the great covenant ? 2 Who wills to have good fame ? 

Zarathushtra. It is the Kavi 3 Vishtaspa at the Consumma 
tion. 4 Those whom thou wilt unite in one house with thee, 
these will I call with words of Good Thought. 

15. Ye Haecataspa Spitamas, 5 of you will I declare that ye 
can discern 6 the wise and the unwise [ . . . a line lost . . . ]. 
Through these actions ye inherit Right according to the primeval 
laws of Ahura. 

16. Frashaoshtra Hvogva, 7 go thou thither with those faithful 
whom we both 8 desire to be in blessedness, where Right is united 
with Piety, where the Dominion is in the possession of Good 
Thought, where Mazdah Ahura dwells to give it increase. 9 

1 awT(\eia, the Regeneration. 

2 Apparently a term for the "Bund "of the Zarathushtrian community. 
But see Carnoy, as summarised in the note on Ys 29 11 . 

3 The title has a curious double use, denoting also (see note on Ys 32 14 ) 
chiefs of the Daevayasna. We must assume that it got its sinister meaning 
because Vishtaspa stood alone among princes to whom the title belonged. 

4 As Qeldner notes, this dialogue is supposed to take place at the Great 
Day, when Zarathushtra answers for those with whom he has crossed the 
Bridge (v. 10 ). 

6 Haecat-aspa was the great-grandfather of Zarathushtra, Spitama a more 
distant ancestor. Their names here describe a clan of the Prophet s more 
immediate relatives. 

6 Or (as Bartholomae) " proclaim to you that ye may discern." Geldner 
reads as above. The contents of the lost line may have decided it. 

7 Hvogva is the family name of Frasa-us tra and his daughter, whom 
Zarathushtra married, and of his brother Jdma-aspa mentioned in v. 17 . See 
Lecture III. init. 

8 Geldner, rightly I think, understands this of Mazdah and the Prophet 
himself, acting as Judge. Justi (IFAnz., xviii. 38) refers it to Frashaoshtra 
and Jamaspa, which is hard to understand. 

8 So Bartholomae: see my note (p. 171). Geldner has "where the 
Wise Lord is throned in his majesty," depending on Skt vardhman, the 
meaning of which Justi (I.e.) says lies in quite another direction. Justi com- 


17. Where, O Jamaspa Hvogva, I will recount your wrongs 
not your successes, 1 (and) with your obedience the prayers of 
your loyalty, before him who shall separate the wise and the 
unwise through his prudent counsellor the Right, even he, 
Mazdah Ahura. 

18. He that holds unto me, to him I myself promise what is 
best in my possession 2 through the Good Thought, but enmities 
to him that shall set himself to devise enmity to us, O Mazdah 
and the Right, desiring to satisfy your will. That is the decision 
of my understanding and thought. 

19. He who accomplisheth for me, even Zarathushtra, in 
accordance with Right that which best agrees with my will, to him 
as earning the reward of the Other Life shall be that of two 
pregnant cows, 3 with all things whereon his mind is set. These 
things wilt thou bring to pass for me 4 who best knowest how, 
O Mazdah. 


Yasna 47 

1. By his holy Spirit and by Best Thought, deed, and word, 
in accordance with Right, Mazdah Ahura with Dominion and 
Piety shall give us Welfare and Immortality. 5 

pares varaftva (AirWb, 1371) for the first part and hadamoi (above, v. 14 ) for 
the second, and retains the traditional rendering, "in the home of desire "- 
Paradise, where all desires are fulfilled. This does not seem to me philo- 
logically unsound. Prof. Jackson (Zoroaster, 77) renders "amid abundance." 

1 So Bartholomae, connecting a/Ha "damnum" (Vd 13 10 ) : he compares 
Ys 43 11 the wrongs suffered by the asavan at the hands of the dngvant are 
recounted before Mazdah. Geldner gives " I will recount of you only what 
is exemplary," apparently connecting afsman with afsman, "metre," a rather 
violent procedure, I think. Jackson (I.e.) has " ordinances." The Pahlavi 
renders " metrical," Neriosengh pramdnam. 

2 Geldner, " wish." In either case Paradise is probably intended, unless 
the cows of v. 19 are in mind. 

3 For these mundane rewards cf. Ys 44 18 , and Lect. V. init. 

4 Geldner, " das scheinst du mir am besten zu wissen," taking sqs from 
\Jsand, videri. Bartholomae prefers \Jsand, efficere. 

5 The stanza is almost a mnemonic, into which with the names of the 
Amshaspands is woven the triad of Thought, Word, and Deed, as an 
expansion of " Best Thought." There is much in this hymn to suggest 
that it was a sort of versified creed for the neophyte, bringing in a maximum 
of characteristic terms. 

THE GATHAS Ys 46, 47, 48 377 

2. The best (work) of this most holy Spirit he l fulfils with 
the tongue through the words of Good Thought, with work of 
his hands through the action of Piety, by virtue of this know 
ledge ; he, even Mazdah, is the Father of Right. 

3. Thou art the holy Father of this Spirit, 2 which has 
created for us the luck-bringing cattle, and for its pasture to 
give it peace (has created) Piety, 3 when he had taken counsel, 
Mazdah, with Good Thought. 

4. From this Spirit have the Liars fallen away, O Mazdah, 
but not so the Righteous. Whether one is lord of little or 
of much, he is to show love to the righteous, but be ill unto 
the Liar. 

5. And all the best things which by this holy Spirit thou 
hast promised to the righteous, O Mazdah Ahura, shall the 
Liar partake of them without thy will, who by his actions is 
on the side of 111 Thought ? 4 

6. Through this holy Spirit, Mazdah Ahura, and through 
the Fire thou wilt give the division of good to the two parties, 5 
with support of Piety and Right. This verily will convert many 
who are ready to hear. 6 

Yasna 48 

1. When at the Recompensings the Right shall smite the Lie, 
so that what was long since made known shall be assigned in 
eternity 7 to Daevas and men, then will it exalt with thy blessings, 
Ahura, him who prays to thee. 

1 Zarathuslitra, says Bartholomae in AirWb, 1377 : in his translation he 
has " soil man erfiillen." 

2 ham-taSat in the next line makes it clear that the "spirit" here is 
Gius taSan. 

3 See Ys 31 9 and note. Aramaiti is here brought in primarily as Genius of 
the Earth : Vohu Manah was especially patron of cattle. 

4 Or as Geldner, " the Liar partakes . . ." : since this is " against Mazdah s 
will," it is inferred that the aSavano are to receive as their reward 
possessions enjoyed by the drtgvato. 

6 The aSavano and the dwgvato, as elsewhere. The vanhdu vldditi, lit. 
"partition in good," is of course an abbreviated phrase, implying " partition 
of good and evil severally." 

6 Of. Ys 46 2 and note. 

7 See p. 174. Prof. Soderblom (La Vie Future, 239) renders daibitana 
fraoxta " ce qu ondit etre le mensonge." 


2. Tell me, for thou art he that knows, O Ahura : shall the 
Righteous smite the Liar before l the retributions come which 
thou hast conceived ? That were indeed a message to bless the 
world ! 2 

3. For him that knows, 3 that is the best of teachings which 
the beneficent Ahura teaches through the Right, he the holy 
one, even thyself, 4 O Mazdah, that knows 3 the secret lore 
through the wisdom of Good Thought. 

4. Whoso, O Maxdah, makes his thought now better, now 
worse, and likewise his Self by action and bv word, and follows 
his own inclinations, wishes and choices, he shall in thy purpose 
be in a separate place at the last. 5 

5. Let good rulers rule us, not evil rulers, with the actions of 
the Good Lore, O Piety ! Perfect thou for man, O thou most 
good, the future birth, 6 and for the cow skilled husbandry. Let 
her grow fat for our nourishing ! 

6. She 7 will give 8 us a peaceful dwelling, she will give lasting 

1 The stress is on before. Zarathushtra is clear about the ultimata 
victory, but wistfully asks for an earnest of that future. 

2 Bartholomae has " Das ware gewiss eine der Welt frommende Bot 
schaft." Akardti occurs only here, and is rendered " efficiency " in the 
Pahlavi (Mills). I do not know how Bartholomae arrives at his "Kunde 
Botschaft" (AirWb, 310). " This is [lit. " is known as "] the good Renewal ol 
the world " is an alternative that seems to make appropriate sense ; and it 
comes naturally out of a + \fkar. 

3 Vaedsmndi, vidva : the former (middle) is only used of men, the lattei 
(perf. act. = Gk. FeiScSs) of either Mazdah or illuminated men. But it if 
risky to distinguish. 

4 Bwdvqs, "one likethee" : see Ys 44 1 . 

6 Both Geldner and Bartholomae take this stanza to refer to Hamistakan 
see (p. 175). 

6 Bartholomae so takes aipl-zaBa (qs. tiriyevvrjcris), meaning much thi 
same as the future life. Geldner, following the tradition (with aipl zaOsm. 
two words), renders " Reinheit gleich nach der Geburt ist fur der 
Menschen das Beste. Fur das Vieh soil man tatig sein." The contras 
is a good example of the latitude of interpretation still possible. 

7 Aramaiti, especially as genius of the Earth. As in Ys SO 7 (q.v.) sh< 
gives future life : the connexion strongly suggests the germ of a doctrin( 
of bodily resurrection. 

8 So Geldner, which I prefer : ddt is aorist, and may be indicative (Sk 
addt) or injunctive (Skt ddt), "has given" (as Bartholomae, GaBds) o; 
" will give" : in AirWb, 1839 B. had "let her give." 

THE GATHAS K? 48 379 

life and strength, 1 she the beloved of Good Thought. For it 
(the cattle) Mazdah Ahura made the plants to grow at the birth 
of the First Life, through Right. 

7. Violence 2 must be put down ! against cruelty 2 make a 
stand, ye who would make sure of the reward of the Good 
Thought through Right, to whose company the holy man 
belongs. His dwelling places shall be in thy House, O Ahura. 

8. Is the possession of thy good Dominion, Mazdah, is that 
of thy Destiny 3 assured to me, Ahura ? Will thy manifesta 
tion, 4 O thou Right, be welcome to the pious, even the weighing 5 
of actions by the Good Spirit ? 

9. When shall I know whether ye have power, O Mazdah 
and Right, over everyone whose destructiveness is a menace to 
me? Let the revelation of Good Thought be confirmed unto 
me : the future deliverer should know how his own destiny 
shall be. 6 

10. When, O Mazdah, will the nobles understand the 
Message? 7 When wilt thou smite the filthiness of this in 
toxicant, 8 through which the Karapans 9 evilly deceive, and the 
wicked lords of the lands with purpose fell ? 

11. When, O Mazdah, shall Piety come with Right, with 
Dominion the happy dwelling rich with pasture ? Who are they 
that will make peace with the bloodthirsty Liars ? To whom 
will the Lore of Good Thought come ? 

12. These shall be the deliverers of the provinces, who follow 

1 utayuitlmtavlSini : see p. 114. 

2 AeSmo ( AoTtoScuos) see p. 130. Both this and rsmo denote in this 
context violence and cruelty towards cattle, such as the nomad raiders were 
constantly showing. 

3 aSoiS, the destined reward. 

4 Apparently the <t>avep<o<ris, Asa unveiling all secret things (cf. 2 
Cor. 5 10 ). 

5 javaro has its meaning assigned rather by guesswork. For the weighing, 
e p. 169 f. 

6 A good passage to show what saofyant means for Zarathushtra. 

7 The naro (identified with the x v aetu by Bartholomae see p. 117 f.) are 
not yet won over : whether this is before or after Vishtaspa s conversion 
does not appear. 

8 A very marked allusion to Haoma, who, however, is not named. 
See Ys 32 14 and note. 

9 See Ys 32 12 note. 


after pleasing, O Good Thought, by their actions, O Right, 
depending on thy command, O Mazdah. For these are thf 
appointed smiters of Violence. 

Yasna 49 

1. Ever has Bendva 1 opposed me, my greatest (foe), because 1 
desire to win through Right 2 men that are neglected, O Mazdah. 1 
With the Good Reward 4 come to me, support me, prepare hi; 
ruin through 5 Good Thought. 

2. The perverter 6 of this Bendva has long time impeded me. 
the Liar who has fallen away from Right. He cares not thai 
holy Piety should be his, nor takes he counsel with Goo 
Thought, O Mazdah. 

3. And in this belief (of ours), O Mazdah, Right is lai 
down, for blessing, in the heresy the Lie, for ruin. Therefon 
I strive for the fellowship of Good Thought, 8 I forbid all intei 
course with the Liar. 

4. They who by evil purpose make increase of violence an 
cruelty with their tongues, the foes of cattle-nurture among il 
friends; whose ill deeds prevail, not their good deeds 9 : thes 

1 A daevayasna chieftain. So Bartholomae, for once agreeing with Mill 
who thinks the Pahlavi has encouragement. The word means apparent! 
" pestilent " (^/ban, to make sick) ; and Geldner takes it as a title of tl 
evil spirit : on the other view it will be a nickname of the chief. 

2 Or (as Geldner and Bartholomae) " Right, Mazdah." 

3 Geldner s version is so different that I quote it : " Und mir hat immt 
der grosste Verpester entgegengewirkt, der ich seine iiblen Absichtt 
gutheissen soil, Asha, Mazdah." 

4 Add, which Bartholomae regards as personified here (" als Gottheit 
AirWb, 321) : is this necessary ? Geldner has " Gut ist das Werk." 

6 So Geldner : Bartholomae makes it " Vohu Manah," which 
equally possible. 

6 Bartholomae suggests that this heretic may be the Grehma of whom \ 
hear in Ys 32 12 1 *. 

7 Geldner, "Und an diesen Verpester gemahnt mich der falschglaubi 

8 Bartholomae makes sari inf., "sich anschliessen an," but allows the ge 
vaahauS mananho to be strange. May it not be a noun ? I follow Geldm 

9 Taking hvar&diS as subject (Jackson, JAOS, xv. Ixii.), and followi: 
Bartholomae. But can duzvarSta follow as another subject ? Bett 
perhaps " whose good deeds do not outweigh their ill deeds." 

THE GATHAS Ys 48, 49 381 

shall be) in the House of the Daevas, (the place for) the Self of 
the Liar. 1 

5. But he, O Mazdah happiness and satiety 2 be his who links 
bis own Self with Good Thought, being through Right an 
intimate of Piety. And with all these (may I be) in thy 
Dominion, Ahura. 

6. I beseech you twain, O Mazdah and the Right, to say 
what is after the thought of your will, that we may rightly 
discern how we might teach the Religion that comes from you, 3 

7. And this let Good Thought hear, O Mazdah, let the Right 
hear, do thou thyself listen, O Ahura, what man of the brother 
hood, 4 what noble 6 it is according to the law who brings to the 
community good fame. 

8. On Frashaoshtra do thou bestow the most gladsome fellow 
ship with the Right this I ask of thee, O Mazdah Ahura and 
on myself the hold on what is good in thy Dominion. To all 
eternity we would be (thy) beloved. 6 

9. Let the helper hear the ordinances, he that is created to 
bring deliverance. 7 The man of right words is no regarder of 
fellowship with the Liar, if they that are partakers of Right 

1 A difficult line. Geldner renders "die machen das Gewissen des 
Falschglaubigen zu (leibhaftigen) Devs." This is near the version of Tiele 
(Religionsy,, ii. 96), "Sie schaffen Daevas durch die Lehre des Lugner." 
That is, Bartholomae makes dan locative of dam, " house," Geldner makes 
it 3 pi. aor. of \/dd. 

2 Geldner, " he is milk and oil for such." Aziiiti means solid food, or 
fat, in some places. See Ys 29 7 . 

3 x$mdvatd, " of one like you (Ahuras)," as elsewhere. 

4 airyamd : see note on Ys 32 1 . 

6 x v aetus : see the same note. Geldner has " welcher Gonner, welcher 
Verwandter (i.e. Frashaoshtra und . . . Jamaspa . . .) nach den Gesetzen 
lebt, dass er dein Anhang (den Religionsgenossen) ein gutes Vorbild gebe." 
Bartholomae notes as the meaning that if priests and nobles set a good 
example, the peasants will also attach themselves to the faith. 

6 Bartholomae, " messengers." The word is o.A.., and the meaning is not 
as good as Geldner s " deine Trauten " ; cf. Vedic prestha, from \Jpri, to love. 
The Pahlavi seems to have attached fraeStanho to 1 fraesta ( = irAe?(TToy), 
" men in authority." 

7 This is Jamaspa, here called a saoSyant, for suye is the infin. of the verb 
of which that is fut. partic. 


are to make their Selves partake in the best reward at the 
Judgement, O Jamaspa. 

10. And this, O Mazdah, will I put in thy care within 
thy House 1 the Good Thought 2 and the souls of the 
Righteous, their worship, their Piety and zeal, 3 that thou 
mayst guard it, O thou of mighty Dominion, with abiding 
power. 4 

11. But these that are of an evil dominion, of evil deeds, evil 
words, evil Self, and evil thought, Liars, the Souls 5 go to meet 
them with foul food : in the House of the Lie they shall be 
meet inhabitants. 

12. What help hast thou, O Right, for Zarathushtra that 
calls upon thee ? what hast thou, Good Thought ? for me who 
with praises seek your favour, O Mazdah Ahura, longing for 
that which is the best in your possession. 

Yasna 50 

1. Zarathushtra. Can my soul count on anyone for help? 
Who is there found for my herd, 6 who for myself a protector 
indeed, at my call other than Right and thyself, O Mazdah 
Ahura, and the Best Thought ? 

2. How, O Mazdah, should one desire the luck-bringing 
cattle, 7 one who would fain it should come to him together with 
the pasture ? 

Mazdah. They that live uprightly according to the 
Right among the many that look upon the sun, these when 

1 The "treasury" (ganj), as it was afterwards called ; see p. 162. 

2 mano vohu, with order changed. No doubt it means that of the 
asavano, whose aramaiti is also thus committed to Mazdah s care. Thi? 
coincident use of the names of two Arnshaspands illustrates the thinness of 
their personification. 

3 Iza : Geldner, "die su sse Milch," the food of the blessed, as (according 
to G.) in Ys 5 1 1 . 

4 Bartholomae divides the vox nihili into avam Ira. 

6 Of those " Liars " who have died earlier and preceded them to the hell 
of which the " foul food " is characteristic. 

6 pas9u (pecus). 

7 See Ys 44 6 , 47 3 . Bartholomae and Geldner take it as a reward in tin 
future life : the former notes that one who makes cattle and pasture thf 
source of good here cannot conceive of Paradise without it. 

THE GATHAS F* 49, 50 

they stand in the judgement 1 I will settle in the dwellings 
of the wise. 

3. Zarathushtra. So this (reward) shall come to him through 
the Right, 2 O Mazdah, (the reward) which by the Dominion and 
Good Thought he 3 promised, whosoever by the power of his 
Destiny prospers the neighbouring possession that now the 
Liar 4 holds. 

4. I will worship you with praise, O Mazdah Ahura, joined 
with Right and Best Thought and Dominion, that they, desired 
of pious men, may stand as Judges 5 on the path of the obedient 
unto the House of Song. 

5. Assured by you, O Mazdah Ahura and Right, 6 are the 
pointings of the hand 7 since you are well disposed to your 
prophet which shall bring us to bliss, together with visible 
manifest help. 

6. The prophet Zarathushtra, who as thy friend, O Mazdah 
and the Right, 8 lifts up his voice with worship may the Creator 
of Wisdom teach me his ordinances through Good Thought, 
that my tongue may have a pathway. 9 

7. For you I will harness the swiftest steeds, stout and strong, 
by the prompting of your praise, that ye may come hither, 
Mazdah, Right and Good Thought. May ye be ready for 
my help ! 

1 dkdstmg. Akd as an adj. means manifest, as a noun -rb QavepiaQjivai in 
the sense of 2 Cor. 5 10 . Geldner renders, " du Ankunderin, wenn du 
diese scheidest, so nimm mich als Gerechten an." 

2 Or " Right " (asd, voc. or instr.). 

3 Bartholomae interprets this as Mazdah, supposing the stanza (despite 
the clear vocative Mazda) addressed to Vishtaspa. Could we take xsaflra 
and vohucd mananhd as instr. for the subject, and render " which Dominion 
and Good Thought have promised " ? 

4 Bartholomae thinks there ia a definite reference to Bendva or Grehma. 
6 dkd see note on v. 2 . " Revealers " would be more exact. 

6 Mazda A$d Ahura. The order of the words makes Bartholomae s 
earlier view tempting, by which Ahura is dual, " ye two Lords." But now 
both he and Geldner take it as above. 

7 See note on Ys 34 4 . 

8 So Bartholomae in his Lexicon : his translation is " der Freund des 
Asa," which would seem to make aSd instr., " befriended by Asha." 

9 May not stray from the right path. Zarathushtra himself is speaking, 
though he uses the third person in the relative clause. 


8. With verses that are recognised as those of pious zeal I 
will come before you with outstretched hands, O Mazdah, before 
you, O thou Right, with the worship of the faithful man, before 
you with all the capacity of Good Thought. 

9. With these prayers I would come and praise you, 
Mazdah and thou Right, with actions of Good Thought. If 
I be master of my own destiny as I will, then will I take 
thought for the portion of the wise in the same. 

10. Those actions that I shall achieve, and those done afore 
time, and those, O Good Thought, that are precious in the 
sight, the rays of the sun, the bright uprisings of the days, 1 all 
is for your praise, O thou Right and Mazdah Ahura. 

11. Your praiser, Mazdah, will I declare myself 2 and be, so 
long, O Right, as I have strength and power. May the Creator 
of the world accomplish through Good Thought its 3 fulfilment 
of all that most perfectly answers to his will ! 


Yasna 51 

1. The good, the precious Dominion, as a most surpassing 
portion, shall Right achieve for him that with zeal accomplishes 
what is best through his actions, O Mazdah. This will I now 
work out for us. 

2. Before all, O Mazdah Ahura, give me the Dominion o 
your possession, O Right, and what is thine, O Piety. Youi 
(Dominion) of blessing give through Good Thought to hin 
that prays. 

3. Let your ears attend 4 to those who in their deeds am 
utterances hold to your words, Ahura and Right, to those o 
Good Thought, for whom thou, Mazdah, art the first teacher. 

4. Where is the recompense for wrong to be found, whep 
pardon for the same ? Where shall they attain the Right 

1 See note on Ys 46 3 . 

2 aojdi, used rather like its cognate #x<vtai (tlvat), in Homer. 

3 anlwus depends on data and haidydvaraStam^ curb KOIVOV, according t 
Bartholomae (AirWb, 1761). 

4 Bartholomae, " Eure Ohren sollen sich mit denen in Verbindung setze 
die . . ." Geldner, " Eure Ohren sollen erfahren, welche . . . " 

THE GATHAS Ys 50, 51 385 

Where is holy Piety, where Best Thought ? Thy Dominions, 
where are they, 1 O Mazdah ? 

5. All this (I) ask, whether the husbandman shall find cattle 2 
in accordance with Right, he that is perfect in actions, a man of 
understanding, when he prays to him who hath promised unto 
the upright the true judge, 3 in that he is lord of the two 
Destinies 4 

6. even he, Ahura Mazdah, who through his Dominion 
ippoints what is better than good to him that is attentive to 
lis will, but what is worse than evil to him that obeys him not, 
vt the last end of life. 

7. Give me, O thou that didst create the Ox and Waters and 
?lants, Welfare and Immortality, 5 by the Holiest Spirit, O 
Mazdah, strength and continuance through Good Thought at 
he (Judge s) sentence. 

8. Of those two things will I speak, O Mazdah for one may 
ay a word to the wise, the ill that is threatened to the Liar, 
,nd the happiness that clings to the Right. For he the 
rophet is glad for him who says this to the wise. 

9. What recompense thou wilt give to the two parties by 6 thy 
ed Fire, by the molten Metal, give us a sign of it in our souls 
ven the bringing of ruin to the Liar, of blessing to the Righteous. 

10. Whoso, other than this one, 7 seeks to kill me, Mazdah, 
e is a son 8 of the Lie s creation, ill-willed thus towards 

1 Bartholomae observes that this last question is the answer to those that 
recede. The plural x&tflra is unusual : cf. Ys 34 11 . 

2 I have rendered gdus "cattle" because the gender is indeterminate, 
:cept in gSus tasan, etc., where " Ox-creator " is more convenient. Both 
eldner and Bartholomae think the eschatological Lohnkuh is meant here 
see note on Ys 50 2 . I do not feel quite sure that the homely cow of this 
orld may not be meant, and so leave the matter open. 

3 Ratum : Zarathushtra means himself see note on Ys 44 16 . 

4 Heaven and hell. Of course Mazdah is the apportioner (\sayas, 
jotens ") of the aSl. 

5 Note the combination with Water and Plants, their province. 

6 See Ys 31 3 and note. On the ayah x$usta see p. 157 f. 

7 Bartholomae suggests that the reference would be made clear by a 
;sture. If so, it is hardly likely that the evil spirit is intended, as he 
inks : rather a human heretic (Geldner), perhaps Grehma. 

5 hunus (Skt sunu, Gothic sunus), curiously specialised in Avestan to 
note only " sons " of demoniacal beings. See on this phenomenon p. 218 f. 



all that live. 1 I call the Right to come to me with good 
destiny. 2 

11. What man is a friend to Spitama Zarathushtra, 
Mazdah ? Who will let himself be counselled by Right ? 
With whom 3 is holy Piety? Or who as an upright man is 
intent on the covenant 4 of Good Thought ? 

12. The Kavi s wanton 5 did not please Zarathushtra Spitama 
at the Winter Gate, in that he stayed him from taking refugt 
with him, and when there came to him also (Zarathushtra s) two 
steeds shivering with cold. 

13. Thus the Self of the Liar destroys for himself the 
assurance of the right Way ; whose soul shall tremble at the 
Revelation 6 on the Bridge of the Separater, having turned 
aside with deeds and tongue from the path of Right. 

14. The Karapans 7 will not obey the statutes and ordinance 
concerning husbandry. For the pain they inflict on the cattle, f ul 
fil upon them through their actions and judgements that judge 
ment which at the last shall bring them to the House of the Lk 

15. What meed Zarathushtra hath promised to the men c 
his covenant, 8 (which) in the House of Song Ahura Mazda 
hath first attained, for all this I have looked through yoi 
blessings, Good Thought, and those of Right. 

16. Kavi Vishtaspa hath accepted that creed which the hoi 
Mazdah Ahura with Right hath devised, together with tl 
dominion of the Covenant, 4 and the path of Good Thought. 
be it accomplished after our desire. 

It only occurs once in the Gathas, which is insufficient evidence for t 
establishment of the usage so early. Probably the Magi based th< 
appropriation on the accident of the use here. 

1 duz-dd yoi hmti, the antithesis of hudd yoi hantl in Ys 45 6 . 

2 Asa to come with asi vanuhl. See p. 360. 

3 Kd instr. (Bartholomae). Geldner makes it nom. sg. fern., " Was g 
die heilige Armaiti ? " 

4 Magdi, a doubtful word. Bartholomae " Bund," Geldner " Gnadengal 
See note on Ys 29 11 . 

6 vaepayd = iraiSiK<i: Geldner makes it a proper name. Bartholomae 1 
just emphasis on the convincing reality of this personal reminiscence : 
above, p. 83. 

6 dkd : see notes on Ys 48 8 , 50H 

7 See p. 140. 

8 magavabyo : see note on magdi in v. n and in Ys 29 U . 

THE GATHAS Ys 51 387 

17. The fair form of one that is dear hath Frashaoshtra 
Hvogva promised unto me : l may sovran Mazdah Ahura grant 
that she attain possession of the Right for her good Self. 

18. This creed Jamaspa Hvogva 2 chooses through Right, 
lordly in substance. 3 This Dominion they (choose) who have 
part in Good Thought. This grant me, Ahura, that they may 
find in thee, Mazdah, their protection. 

19. This man, 4 O Maidyoimaongha Spitama, 5 hath set this 
before him after conceiving it in his own Self. He that would 
see Life indeed, to him will he make known what in actions by 
Mazdah s ordinance is better during (this) existence. 

20. Your blessings shall ye give us, all ye that are one in 
will, with whom Right, Good Thought, Piety, and Mazdah 
(are one), according to promise, giving your aid when worshipped 
with reverence. 

21. By Piety the beneficent man benefits 6 the Right through 
his thinking, his words, his action, his Self. By Good Thought 
Mazdah Ahura will give the Dominion. For this good Destiny 7 
I long. 

22. He, I ween, that Mazdah Ahura knoweth, among all 
that have been and are, as one to whom in accordance with 

1 Hvovi, the daughter of Frashaoshtra : see p. 82. The possibilities of 
these Gathic problems are well illustrated here by Geldner s version, " Einen 
begehrenswerten Leib hat mir F. H. fur seine gute Seele ausgemalt." He 
notes " D. h. er hat ihm geschildert, welchen schbnen Leib er im Paradies 
fiir seine glaubige Seele erbittet : vgl. Ys 36 6 ," where prayer is offered for the 
" fairest of all bodies," to be the worshipper s portion. The reference to the 
Prophet s new bride seems a priori probable in a stanza referring to his 
father-in-law, and Bartholomae s rendering seems to me preferable. A 
passage from the Gatha Haptanghaiti is not the best of parallels for the 
elucidation of the older Gathas. 

2 Frashaoshtra s brother, and Zarathushtra s son-in-law see Ys 53. 

3 Geldner joins istois x-taOram, "das Reich des Wiinsches," the looked-for 
Kingdom of God. 

4 M. himself (Bartholomae). 

5 Maidyoi-mdnha, a cousin of the Prophet, and his earliest convert, 
according to tradition. See p. 82. 

6 Spmto spmva{. Bartholomae, who will not allow " beneficent " as the 
meaning of spanta on which see p. 145 regards this as a paronomasia. He 
renders " By Piety one becomes holy. Such a man advances Right by 

. ," etc. So now Brugmann, Grundriss 2 , II. iii. 329. 

7 vanhvlm asim : see note on v. 10 . 


Right the best portion falls for his prayer, these will I reverence J 
by their names and go before them with honour. 

Yasna 53 

1. Zarathushtra. The best possession known is that of Zara- 
thushtra Spitama, which is that Mazdah Ahura will give him 
through the Right the glories of blessed life unto all time, and 
likewise to them that practise and learn the words and actions of 
his Good Religion. 

2. Then let them seek the pleasure of Mazdah with thought, 
words, and actions, unto his praise gladly, and seek his worship, 
even the Kavi Vishtaspa, and Zarathushtra s son 2 the Spitamid, 
and Frashaoshtra, making straight the paths for the Religion , 
of the future Deliverer which Ahura ordained. 

3. Him, O Pourucista, 3 thou scion of Haecataspa and 
Spitama, youngest of Zarathushtra s daughters, hath (Zara- 
thushtra) appointed as one to enjoin on thee a fellowship with 
Good Thought, Right, and Mazdah. So take counsel with 
thine own understanding : with good insight practise the holiest 
works of Piety. 

4. Jamaspa. Earnestly will I lead her to the Faith, 4 that , 
she may serve her father and her husband, the farmers and the 
nobles, 5 as a righteous woman (serving) the righteous. The 
glorious heritage of Good Thought [. . . three syllables cor- 
rup . . . ] shall Mazdah Ahura give to her good Self for all 


5. Zarathushtra. Teachings address I to maidens marry- 

1 yazdi here only in the Qathas applied to men. As suggested in 
ERPP, 118, it seems a little suspicious : later worship, as in Yt 13 passim, 
used it freely of thefravashi of a living man. On the yenhe hdtam(Ys 27 15 ) 
as adapted from this stanza, see ERPP, 117. 

2 Isat-vdstra by name (see p. 82) : it does not happen to occur in the 
Gathas, which only refer to him here. 

3 On Pourucista and Haecataspa (fourth progenitor of Zarathushtra, in 
the fifth generation from Spitama) see pp. 82, 375. 

4 nlvaranl : so Bartholomae divides, with two good MSS. Geldner s 
standard text reads spardddnl vardnl. 

6 \ v aetave, " the clan." On the castes see p. 117. 

THE GATHAS ft 51, 53 389 

ing, and to you (bridegrooms), giving counsel. I,ay them to 
heart, and learn to get them within your own Selves in earnest 
attention to the Life of Good Thought. Let each of you 
strive to excel the other in the Right, for it will be a prize 
for that one. 

6. So is it in fact, ye men and women ! Whatever happiness 
ye look for in union with the Lie [? shall be taken away from 
your person 1 ]. To them, the Liars, shall be ill food, crying 
Woe! bliss shall flee from them that despise righteousness. 
In such wise do ye destroy for yourselves the spiritual Life. 

7. And there shall be for you the reward of this Covenant, 2 
if only most faithful zeal be with the wedded pair, 3 that the 

pirit of the Liar, shrinking and cowering, may fall into perdi 
tion in the abyss. 4 Separate ye from the Covenant, 2 so shall 
your word at the last be Woe ! 

8. So they whose deeds are evil, let them be the deceived, 
and let them all howl, abandoned to ruin. Through good 
rulers let him bring death and bloodshed upon them, and peace 
from their assaults 5 unto the happy villagers. 6 Grief let him 
bring on those, he that is Greatest, with the bond of death ; and 
soon let it be ! 

9. To men of evil creed belongs the place of corruption. 7 
They that set themselves to contemn the worthy, despising 

1 Bartholomae s conjectural translation [AirWb, 1289, "das wird von seiner 
Person weggenommen "] : lie assumes (ib., 1808) that Drujo has been 
repeated from the previous line, and the unintelligible hoi* piM interpolated 
in some way that cannot be explained. The ejection of these three words 
restores the metre. (Bartholomae s " seiner" refers back to "dem Anhiinger 
der Druj," which he understands from Drujo.) 

2 See note on Ys 29". 

3 Bartholomae takes bunoi haxtayd as a proverbial phrase, " if most 
faithful zeal be in your very marrow." His account of haxt, irregularly 
answering to Skt sakthi, " leg," seems rather violent, and bunoi has to mean 
" at bottom," with haxtayd (gen.) like our phrase " bred in the bone." I 
follow Geldner here with some hesitation, but take yaBrd as introducing a 
purpose clause (cf. Ys 31 u ). 

* bunoi : can we change the order of this and haxtaya ? 
6 dig, lit. " peace with them." 

6 vlzibyd : vis is the complex of " houses " (nmdna), with zantu, " county," 
aud finally daKyu, " province," above it. 
~ vaUso, the same word as the Latin virus. 


righteousness, forfeiting their own body 1 where is the Righteous 
Lord 2 who shall rob them of life and freedom ? Thine, Mazdah, 
is the Dominion, whereby thou canst give to the right-living 
poor man the better portion. 

1. Ahuna Vairya (Ys 27 13 ) : see p. 160 f. 

Right is the best good : it falls by desire, it falls by desire to 
us, even our Right to the best right. 3 

3. A airySma ifyo ( Ys 54 1 ) : 

Let the dear Brotherhood 4 come for support of Zarathushtra s 
men and women, for support of Good Thought. Whatever 
Self may win the precious meed of Right, for this one I beg 
the dear Destiny that Ahura Mazdah bestowed. 5 

1 paso tanvo, here only in Gathas. In the Later Avesta it recurs 
frequently, to denote sinners for whom there is no atonement. Bartholomae 
collects the following passages of the Vendidad to show which sins are in 
this category : 4 20 f., 24 f., 28 f., 32 f., 35 f., 38 f., 41 f. ; 5 43 ; 6 4 , 8 , 18 , ; 7 71 ; 
13", 37 ; 151, 2, 4 , e, 7, 8 ; 1613, Niring. 44. 

2 ahuro, here apparently of the human king who executes judgement on 
earth as Mazdah will at the Last Day. 

3 See ERPP, 116. It is apparently a play on two derived meanings of 
asa, right-doing, and a man s rights. " He who lives rightly gets his rights 
in the end." 

4 I have ventured tentatively to give airysmd the meaning it seems to 
have in the Gathas : see p. 117. In this Prayer Bartholomae makes it an 
Ahura (" Gottheit "), with Vedic parallels. But may not the Prophet be 
simply urging " believers " to do their duty, with promise of a heavenly 
reward ? 

5 masatd. Bartholomae (Flexionslehre, 27) assumed a root mas, " schenken 
(not in AirWb). Could we read mastd (with two or three MSS.), as an 
aorist of man, "thought of"? Asi is thus the creature of Mazdah s 


HERODOTUS, i. 131-140 

131. Now the Persians I know to have the following customs. 
They count it unlawful to set up images and shrines and altars, 1 
and actually charge them that do so with folly, because as I 
suppose they have not conceived the gods to be of like nature 
with men, as the Greeks conceive them. But their custom 
is to ascend to the highest peaks of the mountains, 2 and offer 
sacrifices to Zeus, calling the whole vault of the sky Zeus ; 3 

1 Here, as in some other noteworthy points, there is a suggestive resem 
blance to the conditions of early Roman worship : cf. Dr Warde Fowler s 
Gi/ord Lectures, p. 145 f. In Bh I 14 , Darius says he " restored the sanctu 
aries which Gaumata the Magian destroyed." His word is dyadand (cf. Av. 
yaz, " to worship "), which in the Babylonian version is the equivalent of 
the Hebrew Bethel, " houses of the gods." These (if really Persian see 
p. 195 f.) were perhaps mere shelters for the sacred fire, with no recognis 
able altar. Parsism was always as free from images as Mosaism itself. 
For the reason given, compare the statement of Porphyry (Vit. Pyth., 41) : 
fipofid^ov foiufvai rb fj.fv ffwfJ.a <fxari, r^v 5e ^"XV a\ij6eia.. For the absence of 
shrines compare Cicero, De Legilus, II. x. 26, "nee sequor magos Persarum, 
quibus auctoribus Xerxes inflammasse templa Graeciae dicitur, quod parieti- 
bus includerent deos, quibus omnia deberent esse patentia ac libera, 
quoruinque hie mundus omnis templum est et domus." The dyadand may 
very well have been open so as to conform to this rule. (I owe the reference 
to Mr Hicks.) See further p. 67 f. 

2 Cf. below, on Plutarch, p. 403 ; also p. 213 f. 

3 Prof. Sayce would identify this "vault of heaven" (6 -n-as KVK\OS rov 
ovpavov) with an obscure yazata called in Yt 10 66 wd$a x*addta : Darmesteter 
renders " sovran sky," while Bartholomae makes him the atmosphere. He 
is not nearly conspicuous enough for such a place. We have rather to 
recognise the great Aryan and South Indo-European sky-god Dyeus (Vedic 



and they sacrifice also to Sun, Moon, Earth, Fire, Water, 

Dyauh, Zeus, Diespiter, with its vocative luppiter). His name in Old Persian 
nom. *Diyau$, ace. Diydm, loc. Divi or Diyavi would inevitably suggest 
its Greek cognate and synonym to the ear of a Greek traveller. I was 
confirmed in my reading of the evidence by finding it anticipated by 
Spiegel (Eran. Altertumskunde, ii. 15). There is now a full discussion of 
the point in Bartholomae, Zum AirWb, 172-4, starting from a note in 
Hesychius, ^tavfj.eyd\^v % ev$oovTbv ovpavbv Utpyat. Clearly, if the old 
lexicographer was thinking of Herodotus he had some reason for dissociat 
ing Aia there (and Ait) from zu$, for he selects the accusative of the fern, 
adj. 5?o, common in Homer. Now *&iav would represent the ace. of O.P. 
*Diyauts almost exactly. May we not conjecture that Hesychius had 
evidence prompting him to desert the obvious Zvs in Herodotus, even 
though A just before would not fit 8?a ? We have strong reason for ex 
pecting to find Dyaus in Persia, since he belongs to the Vedic pantheon, 
though his cult is evidently dying. Bartholomae cites Aia?u, the name of 
a Persian noble in ^Eschylus, Persce, 977. It is either *divai- x sis, " ruling 
in the sky," or *divai-sis, "dwelling in the sky." (I think divai and dyavi 
may be alternative forms of the locative, related like X 0o? t and x a P a h with 
Skt divi = AiFi as a mixture.) Bartholomae suggests that the Thracian sage 
Zd/4o\is had a Scythian (and so Iranian) name, zamar-xsi, "qui regnat in 
terra." (Since the cognate Thracian had the required \ in the name for 
Earth, witnessed by SeyueArj, we need not perhaps make Zamolxis a foreigner 
in Thrace.) But what were those Persian aristocrats thinking of when 
they named their infant, on either etymology ? Can we explain qui regnat 
in ccelo by the doctrine of the Fravashi ? If the heavenly counterpart had 
royal rank, the rank of the earthly double should correspond, and match 
the parents ambition. 

The case for the presence of DyauS in Iran is strengthened by its recogni 
tion in Yt 3 13 , a verse passage, thus rendered in ERPP, 124 : 

Headlong down/rom heaven fell he, 
He of demons the most lying, 
Angra Mainyu many-slaying. 

This rendering of patat dyaos is found in Darmesteter and Bartholomae. 
Geldner, rather doubtfully followed by Soderblom, makes it mean " started 
from hell," assuming that dyauS shared the degeneration which befell its 
cognate daeva. I do not feel this at all probable, though its acceptance 
would not affect our present point, the survival in Iran of the old word for 
Sky. A conflict in the upper air between the powers of light and darkness 
is a thoroughly Iranian notion. It may even have contributed to popular 
beliefs outside Iran, for when Paul uses it (Eph. 6 12 ) as an idea familiar to 
the people of the Lycus valley, it will probably be as a native folklore which 
he could apply, without doing harm, when the infinite transcendence of 
Christ was held fast. There is a further parallel in Rev. 1 2 9 , supposed to 


and Winds. 1 To these alone they have sacrificed from the be 
ginning ; but they have learned in addition, from the Assyrians 
and the Arabians, to sacrifice to Urania. 2 (The Assyrians 

be adapted from Jewish apocalyptic. Both passages may he fairly added 
to the tale of possible Iranian contacts with Judaism (Lecture IX.). 

Before leaving the subject, I should remark on the limitation implicit in 
my calling Dyeus pater the " South Indo-European Sky-Father." In ERPP 
33 I repeated the common equation which adds our own Germanic Tiu 
(Tuesd&y) to the Aryan, Greek, and Italian series. Bremer s argument for 
attaching the Germanic words to deivos rather than dyeus did not convince 
Prof. Otto Schrader (ERE, ii. 33 n.) ; and the High German Zio is declared 
by the paramount authority of Prof. Brugmann (Grundriss 2 , i. 133 f.) to 
suit either origin. But Prof. H. M. Chadwick tells me that the Old 
English form cannot be traced to anything but deivos and though 
richrader s opinion is naturally of great weight, it must in a matter affect 
ing Germanic yield to that of the specialist in this field. A Germanic 
scholar who attended my lectures urged that if Dyeus were found in our 
speech-area it would be isolated in the western part of the Indo-European 
country : though deivos and dyeus are only Ablaut-doublets, differentiation 
of meaning set in during the earliest period. But on the theory sketched 
above (p. 5 n., 26 n.), a contact between Germanic and Aryan falls into 

1 All these are palpably urarisch. Prof. Sayce declares that " sacrifices 
were not offered to " four of them. He is, however, a relatively late 
authority ; and in all his objections there is an unwarrantable assumption 
that Herodotus is wrong wherever we cannot support him from the Avesta. 
If the Persian popular religion was, as I have tried to prove, still untouched 
by Zoroaster, the assumption falls. (It must in fairness be remembered that 
Prof. Sayce s Herodotus was published in 1883.) We turn to the details. 
The Sun and the Moon have each a Yasht in their honour, but so late and 
so unimportant that we lay more stress on other evidence. India, of course, 
abundantly illustrates the prominence of the great lights in Aryan religion, 
and the Avesta from beginning to end has sufficient parallels. Earth had 
the genius Aramati in Aryan times (see p. 112), and the connexion 
survived in the Gathas and after. Apart from this name, we have the 
worship of Earth and Waters, " the wives of Ahura Mazdah," in Ys 38, a 
hymn of the Haptanghaiti, which we have seen to be an almost pure source 
of Iranian Nature-worship, practically untouched by the Eeform. In the 
same Gatha we find adoration of Fire, which was supremely sacred in 
Zarathushtra s own doctrine : thus in Ys 36 3 Fire is Ahura s "most holy 
spirit." In Ys 42 3 "the mighty Mazdah-made Wind" receives worship. 
So there is adequate Avestan testimony after all, from the older stratum. 

2 The Persians adopted the Semitic cult of Ishtar, who in some form 
unmistakably stands behind the great Iranian goddess Anahita. For con 
vergent evidence supporting this most important statement see p. 238 f. 


call Aphrodite Mylitta, 1 the Arabians Alitta, 2 the Persians 
Mitra. 3 ) 

132. Now the manner of the Persians sacrifice to the gods 
afore-named is this. They neither make them altars nor kindle 
a fire when about to sacrifice: 4 they use no libation, no flute, 
no garlands, no meal. 5 But as one desires to sacrifice to each 
of these deities, he takes the victim to a pure place and calls 
upon the god, 6 his headdress adorned with a garland, generally 
of myrtle. It is not permitted him to ask for good things for 
his own private use who sacrifices ; but he makes petition for 
good to befall the whole Persian people and the King, for he 
also is counted with the whole Persian people. Then when he 
has cut up the victim and seethed the flesh, he spreads out a 
carpet of the tenderest herbage, 7 especially clover, and sets all 

1 Mu allidtu (Zimmern) was "probably a functional appellative of Ishtar, 
meaning the helper of childbirth " (Farnell, Greece and Babylon, p. 270", 
That Ishtar was "queen of heaven" (e.g. in Jerem. 7 18 ) makes the titl; 
Ovpaviri natural here. For Mylitta see Herod, i. 199. 

2 Generally emended A\t\dr, as in iii. 8, where she and Opord\, whom 
Herodotus identifies with Dionysus, are said to be the sole divinities of th ; 
Arabs. Hommel (Geographie und Geschichte des alten Orients, p. 200) say : 
that Herodotus wrote Mv\irra for the Elamite ANAITTA, that "AAITT ; 
represents anndhid, "die Vollbiisige." 

3 On this helpful mistake see p. 238. The close association of Mithr , 
and Anahita, reflected in the inscriptions of the later Acheemenians, is itse 
evidence of the thorough Semitising of the Mithra cult in Persia. But th 
spirit of Iran showed itself in the superior conspicuousness of the ma. 
deity : contrast the feeble male counterparts of Ishtar in Semitic fielc 
(Frazer, Adonis, Attis, Osiris 2 , 105 ff.). 

4 The essence of the sacrifice was the setting out of food before the deit 
for him to partake of its spiritual essence (tyvx h i n Strabo, 732) : cf. th 
Hebrew " shewbread." The sacred fire was the messenger inviting to com 
to the sacrifice. 

5 The omission of the (Haoma) libation here raises difficulty : see th 
discussion above, p. 71 f. 

6 We may compare the prominence in the Later Avesta of the " sacrific 
in which the name is invoked" (aoxto-naman yasna, Yt 10 31 al] 
see p. 203. 

7 The barhis, "sacrificial grass," of Vedic ritual. The correspondin 
Avestau barszi^ has been generalised to "cushion," the special meanir. 
having been displaced by the Reform. As described above (p. 190), th ; 
derivative barssman, the bundle of twigs still used in Parsi worship, retail 
a trace of the older meaning in the verb star, " spread." 


;he flesh thereon. 1 And when he has thus disposed it, a Magian 
nan stands by and chants a theogony thereto, for such the 
Persians say the chant is. 2 Without a Magian it is not lawful 
"or him to offer sacrifices. 3 And after waiting a little time the 
>acrificer takes away the flesh and uses it as he will. 

133. The day of all others that they are wont to honour most 
s a man s birthday. Thereon they deem it right to set out a 
neater feast than on other days. The prosperous among them 
serve up an ox, a horse, a camel, or an ass, 4 roasted whole in 
jvens, while the poor serve up the smaller quadrupeds. And 
;hey do not eat much staple food, but they have a great many 
lessert dishes, which are not all set on at once. For this cause 
Persians say that the Greeks at their meals always leave off 
hungry, because nothing worth mention is brought on after 
dinner if anything were brought on, they would never leave 
aff eating. Now they are greatly given to wine ; 5 and it is not 
allowed them to vomit nor to make water in another s presence. 
These rules are thus well kept ; and it is when drunken that 
they are wont to discuss their most serious business. But what- 
oever has pleased them when thus discussing, this the master of 
the house in which they have been for the discussion, puts before 
them the next day when sober. And if it please them sober, 
they abide by it ; but if not, they put it away. But what 

1 Compare Prof. Sb derblom s notes (La Vie Future, 266) on the animal 
sacrifices to be offered by Saoshyant and his auxiliaries at the end of the 
world. Since animal sacrifices were abolished by Zarathushtra, this attests 
the antiquity of the material incorporated in the Bundahish account of 
Saoshyant. Note that in thus abolishing sacrifice the Prophet only went a 
step beyond Iranian custom as described by Herodotus, in which the gods 
only partook of the spiritual essence of meat that would be eaten by their 

2 The dfoyovtr) answers well to a Yasht, or a normal Vedic hymn, telling 
of the exploits and history of a God, like a Homeric Hymn. See the 
parallel in Pausanias (v. 27 3 ), cited in full in a footnote at p. 208 above. 

3 Herodotus writes three generations after the Magian revolt under 
Qaumata. The Magians doubtless had long re-established themselves in 
their sacred offices, if indeed they had ever lost them among the common 
people of Media. See p. 194 f. 

4 The animals, as Blakesley notes, are a relic of prehistoric nomadism. 

6 Compare the curious notice in Ctesias (above, p. 72), and what is said 
about Haoma, p. 71 f. The modern Persians have kept up the vice. 


things they discuss first when sober, they examine over again 
when drunk. 

134. When they meet one another in the streets, by this may 
one discern whether they that meet are equals. Instead oi 
speaking to one another they kiss on the mouth. If the one be 
a little the other s inferior, they kiss on the cheek. But if the 
one be of much humbler birth, he falls down before the other 
and does obeisance. They honour most after themselves those 
who live nearest to them, and in the next place those next toi 
these ; and they assign honour in proportion as they go on 
thus, holding those least in honour who live farthest away from 
them ; for they account themselves to be by far the best of all 
men at everything, while others attain excellence in the proper 
tion here described, and they that live farthest away are the 
worst. In the time of the Median rule the several races had 
the following precedence over one another. The Medes wen 
over all alike, and over those living nearest to them : thest 
again were over their neighbours, and they too over those nex 
to them. According to the same principle also the Persian: 
apportion honour; for each nation took its place in order a 
ruler and administrator. 1 

135. The Persians adopt foreign customs most readily of al 
men. Accounting the Median dress more comely than thei 
own, they wear this, and Egyptian breastplates in war. 2 Whei 
they hear of luxuries from any quarter they indulge therein 
Thus they have even learned unnatural vice from the Greeks. 
They each marry a number of lawful wives, and get them man> 
more concubines still. 136. It is approved as a token of manli 
ness, next after being a good fighter, that a man should havi 
many sons to show ; and to him that can show the most, th( 
king every year sends gifts. In numbers, they think, lie 

1 See the note in How and Wells. (I am only annotating points tha 
affect the subject of this book.) 

2 An Egyptian borrowing in the sphere of religion was the winged sola 
disk which supplied the image of Ahura on the Achsemenian monument 
(p. 243). 

3 The Vendidad denunciation of this as mortal sin (S 26 - 27 ) does not, a 
Messrs How and Wells imply, prove the vice earlier than Persian contac 
with the Greeks, though it may well be so : cf. Ys 51 12 (p. 386). 


trength. They teach the boys, from five years old to twenty, 
hree things only to ride, to shoot, and to be truthful. 1 But 
;ill the child is five years old he does not come into the father s 
ight, but lives wholly with the women. This is done that if 
le should die while under their care it may not cause distress to 
he father. 137. I commend this custom, as also the following, 
hat neither does the king himself put a man to death on a 
ingle charge, nor does any other Persian on a single charge 
nflict irreparable penalty on any of his slaves. Only after com- 
mtation of his wrong deeds and his services does he indulge his 
mger, if he finds the former to be more numerous and greater 
han the latter. 2 They say that no one has ever killed his 
>wn father or mother. Whatever deeds of this kind have 

P2en done, they declare must prove on inquiry to have been the 
ork of changelings or children born in adultery, for that it is 
lot rational to conceive of a real parent slain by his own child. 
138. Whatsoever things they may not do, of these they may 
lot speak. Most disgraceful of all is lying accounted, and next 
o this to be in debt. Many reasons are assigned for this, but 
.he chief is that they say the debtor is sure to lie as well. If 
my citizen has leprosy, of one kind or the other, 3 he does not 
nter a city nor mingle with other Persians. They say he is 
hus afflicted because he has sinned against the Sun. Every 
tranger seized with these diseases they expel from their country : 
nany also drive out white doves, charging them with the same 
nischief. 4 

139. Into a river they neither make water nor spit, nor do 

1 See p. 130 f. No doubt the ^ovva in this famous dictum is to be indul- 
ently interpreted, as epigrams usually demand. Reading, for example, 
?a>s an accomplishment more likely to be learnt before twenty than after : 
he existence of the Inscriptions is presumptive evidence of its prevalence. 

2 For the corresponding characteristic of divine justice, see pp. 144, 170. 

3 fovK-r) is said to be a mild leprosy : \etrpii is thus a severer form. 

* Leprosy offends because of its whiteness, and white doves are tabu for 
lie same reason. In Yt 10 12G Cisti, " Knowledge," drives at the left hand 
f Mithra, a semi-solar yazata, " clothed in white robes, and white herself." 
Vhite horses drew the car of Dyaus (p. 59), and white horses were offered 
J the Strymon (p. 216). Whiteness might then be tabu in Iran as an 
ivasion of a divine monopoly. The white dress of the Magi in Diogenes 
j. 415) may thus emphasise their sacred character. 


they wash their hands therein nor allow anyone else to do so, 
for they reverence rivers most highly. 1 Another peculiarity 
has not been observed by the Persians themselves, but it 
has not escaped our notice. Their names, which suit their 
personal appearance and their love of grand style, always 
end with the same letter that which Dorians call San and 
lonians Sigma. If you examine them you will find that the 
names of Persians, not merely some but all alike, end in this 
sound. 2 

140. This much I can say about the Persians from exact 
knowledge. Other things are talked of as secrets and not 
openly, with regard to the dead how that the corpse of ;i 
Persian is not buried before it has been torn by bird or dog, 
Now I know the Magi do this, for they do it without conceal 
ment ; but the Persians cover the corpse with wax and bury it 
in the earth. 3 But the Magi are very different from other mer. 
and especially from the priests in Egypt. The latter hold ii 
a sacred duty to slay no living thing, save what they sacrifice 
but the Magi slay with their own hands all animals except ; 
dog and a man, and they make this an object of rivalry, slayin 
alike ants and snakes and other reptiles and birds. 4 As to thi 
custom, let it stand as it has been practised from the first 
but I will return to my former subject. 

1 See above, p. 216. Messrs How and Wells appropriately quote tl 
deposition of a king for building bath-houses (SHE, iv. 2 116 n.) ! 

2 Herodotus seems rather to plume himself on his linguistic acumen, bi 
of course the remark is wholly wrong. Names in -i and -us were in fa 
the only names that did end in a sibilant : lie was generalising fro 
Graecised forms in -as, -TJS or -os. 

3 Note the suggestion of secrecy, due perhaps to a sharp conflict in tb 
matter between the masses who would follow their Magian kin, and tl 
Iranian castes which clung to their old customs. The distinction drav 
here between Magi and Persians is most valuable, and shows the accura 
observation which is evidenced almost throughout this account. Compa 
the Scythian custom in iv. 71 (KdTaKfKiip<a/j.evov rb o-w/xo) : here we have t 
genuine Iranian as against the aboriginal practice. See note on Strabo x 
20 (p. 409 f.), and the discussion above, p. 202 f. 

4 The most conspicuously Ahrimanian creatures are singled out, wh 
aydivia-pa well describes the merit that accumulated from this duty, 
is purely Magian, alien alike from genuine Persian religion and frc 
Zarathushtra s Reform. On birds contrast Plutarch (p. 400). 


PLUTARCH, Isls and Osiris, cc. 46 f. 

Plutarch has been speaking of two principles, of Good and 
Evil, intermingled in the world around us, according to the 
doctrine of various poets and philosophers, and enshrined in 
religious rites both Greek and foreign. He proceeds : 

46. And this is the view of the greatest number and the 
wisest of men. For some recognise two gods, as it were rival 
artificers, the one the creator of good things, the other of 
worthless. But others call the better 1 power God, and the 
other a daemon, 2 as does Zoroaster 3 the Magus, 4 who they say 
flourished five thousand years before the Trojan War. 5 Now 
he called the one Horomazes and the other Areimanios ; 6 and 
lie showed, moreover, that the former resembled Light more than 
any other thing perceived by the senses, while the latter again 
is like darkness and ignorance : intermediate between them is 
Mithres, wherefore also the Persians call Mithres the Mediator. 7 
And he taught them to sacrifice to the one offerings of vows 
and thanksgivings, and to the other offerings for averting ill, 
and things of gloom. 8 For pounding in a mortar a herb called 
omomi, 9 they invoke Hades and darkness : then having mingled 

1 The comparative answers exactly to the Gathic spanyah in Ys 45 2 , 
where " the holier of the Two Spirits thus spake to the Enemy." 

2 That is a divine being of inferior rank. 

3 Zwptaffrpis : on the Greek forms of the name, see p. 426 f. 

4 That Zoroaster was a Magian is the general Greek view, the force of 
which is discounted by the fact (see p. 426) that the Greeks Xanthus the 
Lydian excepted (p. 412) knew nothing of him till the middle of the fourth 
century B.C., which is more than two centuries after his traditional date 
(p. 18). For some arguments against the assumption, see pp. 116-8 and 197 f. 

6 This very general Greek exaggeration is supposed to arise from a mis 
understanding of the Zoroastrian aeons of three thousand years : p. 403 f. 

8 On these forms see p. 422-6. 

7 See the discussion upon Mithra, esp. p. 65 f. 

8 As noted above, p. 127 f., the idea of propitiating the powers of darkness 
was utterly alien to Zarathushtra s system. It was found in Mithraism 

derived, as we have seen, from Iranian religion untouched by the Reform : 
cf . the dedication DEO ARIMANIO, and other examples noted in Lecture IV. 
Nocturnal libations are mentioned in the Avesta, as noticed on p. 129, 
and Herodotus witnesses a cult of 6 virb yrjv At-y^uevos dvai 0t6s, answering 
exactly to Hades here and in other Greek texts. 

9 The Teubner editor prints MOJA.I; without comment. Prof. Cumont 
(Textes et Monuments, ii. 34) accepts it, remarking that de Lagarde con- 


it with the blood of a slaughtered wolf, 1 they bear it forth into 
a sunless place and cast it away. For certain of the plants they 
count to belong to the good God, and others to the evil daemon ; 
and of animals some, as dogs and birds and hedgehogs, belong 
to the good power, 2 and water-rats 3 to the bad, wherefore 
they count fortunate him that has slain most. 

jectured the reading, and Bernardakis put it in his text ("d apres le 
MarcianusV). On this point my friend Prof. Deissmann of Berlin has 
kindly consulted Prof. Wilamowitz for me, who writes as follows : 
"OMflMl ist als Uberlieferung anzusehen, das heisst so hatte der Text, 
den wir erreichen ; es ist eine Handschrift des Planudes. MflAT gibt 
Diibner ; es kann nur Conjectur sein, Urheber unbekannt. (Auf Grund 
des den kiinftigen Herausgebern der Moralia bekannten Materials.)" Since 
Bernardakis professes to give the variants from MSS., this is in keeping 
with the character of his edition as exposed years ago by the great scholar 
to whom I owe this note. Hommel (Geog., 207) compares Syr. hemdmd, 
&IJ.GIHOV in Aristotle and Theophrastus. If this is correct, Plutarch must 
have received ultimately from Aramaic sources the name of a plant 
substituted by popular etymology for the haoma, which was of course 
intended. The O\/M>S is familiar in the Avesta (hdvana). 

1 Cumont notes that the custom is quite unknown : the nearest illustra 
tion is Herodotus i. 132, which, however, only gives us a parallel ritual for 
the powers of light. Windischmann compared Ys 9 21 , where Haoma is 
entreated to give his worshipper first sight of the wolf : compare lupi 
Moerim videre priores. This parallel does not take us far, though it rather 
endorses Ahriman s rights in the wolf. Note, however, that the province 
Varkdna (Av. Vdhrkdna) or Hyrcania was named from the wolf. 

2 They devour corpses and insects, which are conspicuous among 
Ahriman s creation. The holiness of the dog is still more securely based. 
As to birds, cf. the Tobit story, p. 253 above. 

3 Rapp (i. 82) renders x P ffa tovs *xivovs Landigel, and wvSpovs ph 
Wasserigel. But it seems strange to equate ex " 04 an d pves. (Apart from 
this, having trodden on a sea-urchin while bathing in Jamaica, I should 
acquiesce in Ahriman s claim to the animal.) It does not seem likely that 
fivs here = mussels : the obvious water-rat seems to meet the conditions. 
Jackson (Grundriss, ii. 666) brilliantly compares the she-devil Mus Pairikd 
(Ys 16 8 and 68 8 ), who on the authority of the Bundahish is supposed to be 
a comet, or something responsible for a lunar eclipse : the former would 
suit our sea-urchin or other creature with spines. The killing of Ahrimanian 
creatures is of course a high virtue in the Magian system. Windischmann 
(Zor. St., 282), who quotes Plutarch, Quaest. Conv., iv. 5 2 , translates Wasser- 
mause: he cites Vd IS 2 for the x f P ff <"* x /0 *, which "after midnight 
kills thousands of Ahriman s creatures." Cumont observes simply, " Quel 


47. Moreover, they also tell many mythical tales about the 
rods, such as the following. Horomazes, born from the purest 
ight, and Areimanios, born from the gloom, strive in war 
yith one another. And Horomazes created six gods, 1 the first 
>f Good Will, the second of Truth, the third of Good Govern- 
nent, and of the rest the one as maker of wisdom, another of 
vealth, and another of pleasures in beautiful things. And 
Areimanios created as it were rival artificers to these, equal in 
lumber to them. 2 Then Horomazes having extended himself 

1 1 It may be assumed that Plutarch would call the avrirtx^oi of the 
unshaspands Sai/j-ovis like their chief, but he does not use the word below, 
or the Six in detail see pp. 110-5. They correspond in order as above to 
Mm Manah (EtWa), Asha ( AA^0ia), Khshathra (Evvopia), Aramaiti (ffo<pias 

(j^ioup-yJs), Haurvatat (T\OUTOU STJ/X.), and Ameretat (r&v eirl rots /ca\oty 

Stiav SrjjU.). The equivalents are accurate enough till we come to the last 
wo. Health and wealth are associated in English on excellent authority, 
ut are hardly the same thing ; and we do not improve matters by trying 
[hshathra (with Tiele). And it is exceedingly curious that Plutarch 
aould have gone so far astray with Ameretat, the simplest conception of 
11. The two last Ameshas never had anything like the prominence of the 
rst four. Plutarch seems to give not only them but Aramaiti a secondary 
ink, which as far as the latter is concerned is by no means in keeping with 
ae Avesta. It should be noted, however, that in the Haptanghaiti Gatha 
Aramaiti is not named more than once, and Haurvatat and Ameretat not 
b all, though their special provinces, Water and Plants, are as conspicuous 
the first three Amshaspands. Plutarch s text as it stands is so entirely 
ide of the mark in its equivalent for Ameretat that corruption is sug- 
jsted : Cumont s iStw for ^5<W, " Creator of the Ideas connected with 
ood things," is exceedingly ingenious. Prof. Cumont observes the 
latonism, which is of course in Plutarch, not in Parsism. He thinks this 
ivolves bringing in the role of Vohumanah. If we had to justify this, 
e might note how in Cappadocia, according to the usual emendation 
id interpretation of Strabo (see p. 101), " Omanus and Amardatus " are 
H&tonoi. But is it not simpler to recall that the very essence of Platonic 
leas is their immortality, as distinguished from the fleeting mortality of 
neir earthly shadows ? 

2 See Bd 28 7 (SBE, v. 106 f.), and compare Vd 10 9 , 19 43 (Cumont). 
rs Maunder puts the point exceedingly well in a striking paper on the 
ishtrya rnythus in The Observatory (Dec., 1912) : "Some say that we owe 
ie game of chess to the Persians, and on that chequered field the con- 
cting armies are equal and opposite ; every white piece is balanced by a 
ack piece, exactly equivalent in name and form and powers. So it was 
ith the Zoroastrian [Magian, I would say] plan of the universe ; the two 
eat armies of good and evil were equal and opposite. It is true that the 



threefold l withdrew himself from the sun by as much as the Sun 
is withdrawn from the earth, and he adorned the sky with stars ; 2 
and one star he established before them all as a kind of watch 
man and scout, Sirius. 3 And having made other four-and-twenty 
gods he put them in an egg. 4 But they that were born from 
Areimanios, being of the same number, bored through the egg 

law of the game was White to move, and mate in so many millenniums/ 
but the two forces corresponded in number and in detail they were 

1 This may possibly be a confused version of the story of Yima, wlic 
thrice enlarged the earth, by one-third each time (Vd 2 11 15 19 ). Jacksor, 
(Grd., 671) refers it to the doctrine of heavenly spheres, which he sayi, 
is recognisable in Zoroastrianisrn. So Windischmann (Zor. St., 283) 
who compares the three heavens through which the soul ascends to 

2 This at any rate is Avestan doctrine, whatever may be thought of the 
context: in Ys 31 7 Ahura "first planned that the heavenly realms be 
clothed with lights." So in the Inscriptions Auramazda " made yoi: 
heaven." Cumont adds the reference to Bundahish, ch. ii. (SEE 
v. 10 f.). 

3 This primacy of Sirius is apparent in the Tishtrya Yasht. 

4 " A common figure for the Weltkugel in antiquity," says Eapp (ii. 63 
who notes that it does not seem like a piece of popular myth-making. Bu 
Darmesteter (OA, 133) quotes the Cosmic Egg from the Minokhire 
(SEE, xxiv. 85), and from Manu, so that the idea might even be Aryai 
Whether similar myths in other regions are casually or causally connectec 
we need not stay to inquire. The 24 Yazatas are not thus numbered i 
Avestan texts, though Prof. Jackson observes that when the days of tl 
month sacred to Ahura and the Amesha are deducted about 24 remai] < 
But with so much obviously alien matter in the context, I am tempte 
to look elsewhere than in the Avesta, especially as the number is ; 
precise. Prof. Cumont (Astrology, p. 33) speaks of 24 stars, outside tl 
Zodiac, " twelve in the northern and twelve in the southern hemispher 
which, being sometimes visible, sometimes invisible, became the judges 
the living and the dead." Gunkel (Zum religionsgeschichtlichen Verstandn 
des N.T., p. 43 n.) refers to an important passage in Diodorus (Bill. His 
ii. 31) which is Cumont s source here. He attaches special importance ; 
a note of Prof. Ziinmern s that these stars or constellations are set 
circles round the polar stars, as the 24 irpeo-fivrepoi in Rev. 4 4 are 
round the Throne. This may or may not convince us. But what does 
mean when he goes on to remark that these 24 signs are " of course " : 
divisions of the Zodiac (" die 24 Sternbilder . . . sind natiirlich 
Abteilungen des Tierkreises ") ? Diodorus expressly says they were 01 
side the Zodiac, and Zimmern s remark implies that they are not far frc 
the Poles. 


at the top and brought them out, whpence evil things have 
3een mingled with the good. But there will come a determined 
period when Areimanios bringing plague and famine must be 
utterly destroyed by these, 2 and made to vanish away ; and the 
aarth having become flat and level. 3 men shall have one life and 
ane commonwealth, all being blessed and speaking one tongue. 4 
And Theopompus 5 says that, according to the Magi, for three 
thousand years in succession the one of these gods rules and 
the other is ruled ; for the next three thousand they fight and 
war and break up one another s domains ; 6 but finally Hades 

ravu6fv seems certainly corrupt : I tentatively translate Bernardakis 
conjectural supplement, but without any confidence. The next sentence 
s\ mid rather suggest that he brought his 24 into the Weltei. 

2 The familiar Greek combination \oifj.6i \ip6s suggests by itself that we 
lave here no Avestan or other Iranian material. Ahriman was to be 
lestroyed by the ayah -^susta^ or flood of molten metal. See p. 157. 

3 Cf. Bd 30 33 (SEE, v. 129) : "This too it says, that this earth becomes 
,n iceless, slopeless plain." West remarks, " Mountains, being the work of 
,he evil spirit, disappear with him." But this was certainly no feature of 
wre Zoroastrianism, in which (as in Aryan thought generally) mountains 
yere holy. It is a Magian trait : see above, p. 213 f. 

4 The suggestion that the confusion of tongues is a curse to be removed 
it the Regeneration naturally suggests a Semitic source ; but it is quite in 
teeping with the principles of Magianism, though not actually found. 

5 According to Diogenes Laertius (Procem., 8), Theopompus (flor. 338 B.C.) 
vrote about the Magian doctrines in the eighth book of his Philippica. 
robably we must regard his information as starting with this sentence, 
nd not recognise his authority for anything earlier. 

6 The more natural translation is that which Prof. Frazer gives : see 
>elow. A world year of 12,000 years was established in the system by 
lassanian times. Mani taught thus (Soderblom, La Vie Future, 248 n. 4 ), 
nd we have a full statement of it in the Bundahish (SEE, v. 149). In 
Id 1 8-20 the system of trimillennial periods is set forth. In the first the 
Features " remained in a spiritual state, so that they were unthinking and 
inmoving, with intangible bodies." Then Auharmazd proposed to the 
vil spirit that there should be a period of 9000 years for conflict : he knew 
tiis would be his enemy s undoing. Aharman, being ignorant (cf. Plutarch s 
yvoia above), agreed to this. So " for 3000 years everything proceeds by 
he will of Auharmazd, 3000 years there is an intermingling of the wills 
f Auharmazd and Aharman, and the last 3000 years the evil spirit is 
isabled, and they keep the adversary away from the creatures." Theo- 
>ompus seems to have been ignorant of the first period, during which (as 
Vest takes it) only the fravashis of the creatures afterwards produced were 

existence. The period of Ahura Mazdah s supremacy may be reconciled 


with Plutarch s exposition if we take the opening a/o fj.epos as " in succession, 
applying to all the periods instead of the first only, and then translate " one 
of the gods [viz. Hororaazdes] is in power, and the other is subject." On 
this point Prof. J. G. Frazer kindly sends me the following note : 

" If we could interpret the words (as, apart from the context, they naturally 
would be interpreted) to mean in alternate periods of three thousand years 
first one and then the other god prevails, this theory would resemble 
Empedocles s view of the alternate periods in which Love or Hate (Attrac 
tion or Repulsion) respectively prevails, so that the universe, under the 
influence of the one or the other, alternately contracts or expands, the 
periods of motion (whether of attraction or of repulsion) being separated 
by intervals of equilibrium and rest, in which the one force has exhausted 
itself and the other has not yet begun to move all things in the reverse 
direction. It is tempting to interpret the fyinw Kal avairavta-dai xp^vov, etc., 
of such intervals of equilibrium or peace separating periods of motion or 
conflict. If there is anything in this suggestion, the MSS. reading &iroA.t7re<r0ai 
is to be preferred to the airo\e(T0ai or a.iro\(ffdai of modern critics, since the 
reference would be to a temporary failure of the bad power s influence, not 
to its total extinction. As to Empedocles s theory of the alternation of the 
world-periods under the opposite forces of Love and Hate (Attraction and 
Repulsion) see Zeller, Philosophie der Griechen, I. 4 678 sqq., especially pp. 
704 sqq., where he says, Die Zeiten der Bewegung und des Naturlebens 
wechseln daher regelmassig mit solchen der Naturlosigkeit und der Ruhe. 
The length of these periods is unknown ; but Zeller adds in a footnote : 
Das einzige, was in dieser Beziehung vorliegt, ist die . . . Bestimmung 
dass schuldhafte Damonen 30,000 Horen in der Welt umherirren sollen. 
The rpls /j.vpla.1 Sipat have been variously understood as 30,000 years or 
30,000 seasons (10,000 years). In any case the 30,000 of Empedocles is a 
curious echo of the 3000 of Zoroaster. By the way, Empedocles s doctrine 
of the alternate world-periods of contraction and expansion closely resemble^ 
Herbert Spencer s theory of alternate periods of evolution and dissolution. 
I have occasion incidentally to point out the parallelism in the forth 
coming part of The Golden Bough." 

This interesting suggestion has the considerable advantage of explaining 
the difficult words i)pf/j.e~iv KT\, which, as far as I can see, have no analogue 
in the Zoroastrian system. In that case we must be on our guard in using 
Plutarch as a source, since he is suspected of interpolating Greek elements 
unless, indeed, Empedocles got hints from Persia. Another line if 
suggested by Bo klen (Pars. Esch., 82), who points out that in Arda Vira: 
(18 and 54) a world-age of 9000 years is presumed, and in Plutarch 6000 
(He observes that on Zoroastrian principles it is impossible to imagini 
Angra Mainyu having dominion over Mazdah, so that we must translate a: 
in my text above.) Accordingly he suggests that the 9000 of Arda Viraf am 
the 12,000 of the Bundahish represent successive accretions to an older 6000 
This enables him to compare Jewish-Christian apocalyptic, where a cycle o 
6000 or 7000 years bases itself obviously on the week of creation, interpretei 


is to fail, 1 and men will become happy, neither needing food 
nor casting shadows, 2 while the god who brought these things 

by the principle stated in 2 Pet. 3 8 and elsewhere. It seems to me that if 
this is the original we must postulate Semitic sources for the Magian doctrine 
Plutarch describes, for only in this field can we find an adequate motive for 
the number. 

For the next period the Greek and Pahlavi authorities agree : but 
Theopompus does not connect any millennial reckoning with the time of 
final triumph. 

1 On airohi ureffOai, often corrected to d7ro?u?<r0a, see Dr Frazer s note. 
Boklen (Pars. Esch., 102 ff.) has an acute discussion of it on the assumption 
that the text is correct. He shows, rightly enough, that the Greek verb 
must be badly forced if we are to assume that the destruction of Ahriman 
is meant. He would take rbv "AiSijj/ literally, and render " Hades ia to be 
deserted," which gives us the desiderated reference to the Eesurrection, 
elsewhere not alluded to by Plutarch. This is strange, since he knew and 
quoted Theopompus, who is expressly cited by Diogenes Laertius (p. 415 f., 
below) for Magian belief in the future life : the words are &y (sc. Theo 
pompus) Kal dcojSicocrecrflai Kara rovs Mdyovs <j>ij(rl rovs av6p(airovs Kal e<rr6ai 
aBavdrovs Kal TO ovra rats avruv eiriKA^tretn Stajj.fvf iv. The quotation is con 
firmed by ^Eneas of Gaza (De, Animi Immortalitate, 77), 6 Se Ztapoda-rpris 
irpo\eytt ois fffrai irore xpovos tv <p Trdvrtav vfKpuv avda rao is etrrat. olSev 6 
Se6irofj.iros. Since Plutarch does not, like Aristotle, expressly identify 
Ahriman and Hades, there certainly seems a strong case for this rendering. 
But it may be noticed that if Theopompus really gave the doctrine as 
Zoroaster s, as ^Eneas says Kara rovs Mdyov; being due to Diogenes we are 
left free to explain Plutarch s silence from our converging evidence that 
the Magi had no doctrine of the Future Life apart from their acceptance of 
Zoroastrianism. Plutarch s picture (cf. below) is remarkably true apart 
from some Greek elements to the doctrines we should on other grounds 
suppose the Magi to have held in the first century A.D. : the complete 
syncretism of Magianism and Zoroastrianism proper was not achieved till 
the Sassanian era. 

2 Cf. Bd 30 1 3 , where it is said that at the first the primeval pair fed 
on water, then plants, then milk, then meat : so when men s time comes to 
die they desist from meat, then from milk, then from bread, and finally 
feed on water. So in the end men s appetite will diminish, one taste of 
consecrated food sufficing for three days and nights. After that they desist 
from the foods in this order, " and for ten years before Soshyans comes they 
remain without food and do not die." Since Ahriman is the power of 
darkness, it is logical that shadows should belong to his province and vanish 
when he is destroyed. Compare Yt 10 68 and 15 27 . Another reason for 
the disappearance of shadows in the life beyond death is that suggested by 
Darmesteter s notable extract from the Great Bundahish, cited above, p. 256 f. 
Since at death a man s " form," or more literally " image," flies up to the 


to pass l is quiet and rests for a season, not a long one for a 
god, but moderately long as it were for a man that sleeps. 2 
Such, then, is the mythology of the Magi. 

On a review of this most important locus classicus we cannot 
help being powerfully struck with the almost exclusively Magian 
character of the sources Plutarch has employed. There is 
nothing whatever here that we can credit to Zarathushtra, 
except what we find perpetuated in the Magian parts of the 
Later Avesta ; and the most conspicuous parallels we have to 
seek in the Pahlavi books, of which on any showing the Magian 
authorship is secure. We have already noted the possibility 
that the World-age of 6000 years is due to Semitic thought, 
modified in Sassanian Magianism by new elements, which in 
their turn seem to be Babylonian. To the same source we 
attributed the Twenty-four gods. The dualism of Plutarch s 
picture goes far beyond anything we find in the Avesta. Sacrifices 
DEO ARIMANIO, found in the syncretic system of Mithraism, 
are utterly alien to Avestan thought. Characteristics of the 
Magian doctrine may be recognised in the emphasis on the 
stars (though Plutarch s brief account gives nothing actually 
alien to the Avesta here), and the curious view of mountains 
as creations of evil : see p. 213 f. The Amesha Spenta are 
adopted, it is true, and so is the name Areimanios, which are 
both due to Zarathushtra s thought. But it is pointed out 

sun, he may well be without shadow in the next existence. But the 
antiquity of the psychology in this passage cannot be proved : it differs 
from the Avestan, as noted there. 

1 Windischmann accepted Markland s / U7jxi"?tr<$/xtvo , and assumed that 
Saoshyant was intended. Soderblom (La Vie Future, 244 n. 3 ) urges that 
&e6s should mean Ahura Mazdah, as in the preceding phrase. Another 
suggestion of Windischmann was that Sama Keresaspa is the 6e6s, referring 
to his rising from long sleep to take part in the Regeneration. Keresaspa s 
place in the Avesta is hardly that of a fle^s. (See Dr Frazer, above.) 

2 The ordinary text is probably corrupt : I render without much con 
fidence the Teubner &\\cas for Ka\us. Soderblom would read Ka\ws n^v olv 

(for ou) iroXvv, rcf [Se] decji Siffirep a.v6p<[>ir<p Kot/j.oi/j.fixf fnfrpiov. Boklen (Pars. 

Esch., 81 n.) suggests Kaivta^fvy (sic Kaivov^fvif is presumably meant), 
explaining that "die Selbstverjiingung des Gottes die Voraussetzung ist fiir 
die Verjiingung und Erneuerung der Menschheit." Neither seems to solve 
the problem. 


elsewhere that even the name Angra Mainyu is only the 
stereotyping of a casual collocation, occurring only once in the 
Gathas, the fixing of which belongs most certainly to distant 
successors of Zarathushtra. The Ameshas also have been de 
veloped since Zarathushtra s day in directions very different from 
those to which he pointed. The Six in Plutarch have all the 
features of the Magian adaptation. There are the six avrirexvoi, 
a conception with an unmistakable Magian hall-mark, but 
essentially absent from the Avesta except in scanty hints. And 
it is perhaps not without significance that the one Amesha 
whose character Plutarch misinterprets is " Immortality," since 
the Magi evidently did not take to this doctrine for generations, 
native as it was to the Aryans and developed by Zarathushtra. 
We should compare the Magian original of Tobit (p. 252 f.). 

The conclusion forced on me is that in Plutarch s day the 
Magi were still keeping up their own system, extended to a 
very limited degree by adaptations derived from Aryan and 
Zoroastrian sources. They took over these elements largely in 
order to win their way among the populace who followed 
a degenerate form of Aryan polytheism, influenced mostly in 
externals by the Zarathushtrian Reform. Otherwise they had 
changed but little : the Sassanian revival was still far off. 

STRABO, xv. 3. 13 ff. (p. 732 f.) 

13. Persian customs are the same as those of the Medes and 
many others, concerning which sundry have written : I must, 
however, tell of what is important. Persians, then, do not set 
up images and altars, but sacrifice on a high place, regarding 
the Sky as Zeus. 1 They honour also the Sun, whom they call 
Mithras, 2 and the Moon, and Aphrodite, 3 and Fire and Earth, 
and Winds and Water. They sacrifice in a pure place after 
dedicatory prayer, having set the victim by them garlanded. 
The Magus who presides over the rite divides the animal limb 
from limb, and they take their portions and depart, assigning 

1 This seems simply borrowed from Herodotus (p. 391). 

2 This is of course an advance on Herodotus, whose knowledge about 
Mithra was scanty (p. 238). The identification of Mithra and the Sun had 
advanced rapidly. 

3 Ana"hita, who is here mentioned apart from Mithra. 


no portion to the gods. They say the deity needs the soul 
of the victim, but nothing more : they do, however, according 
to some, put a little piece of the caul upon the fire. 

14. They make a difference between fire and water in their 
manner of sacrifice. For the Fire, they put on it dry logs 
without the bark, 1 adding fat from above : then they kindle 
it from below, pouring oil over it, not blowing it, 2 but fanning 
it ; any who have blown it, or have laid a dead body or dung 
upon fire, they put to death. For Water, when they have come 
to a lake, a river, or a spring, they dig a trench and slay the 
victim over it, taking care that none of the water close by may 
be splashed with blood, since they would thus defile it. 3 Then 
setting in order the flesh upon myrtle or bay, the Magi touch 
it with thin rods 4 and chant a hymn, pouring a libation of oil 
mingled with milk and honey, not into the fire or the water, 
but on the ground ; and they keep up the chants for a long 
time, holding a bundle of thin tamarisk rods. 5 

15. In Cappadocia, where the Magian tribe is numerous, 
being called fire-priests (Trvpai9oi)f and shrines of the Persian 
gods are also numerous, they do not even kill with a knife, but 
by striking the victim with a log of wood, as if with a pestle. 7 

1 The entirely reasonable requirement that Atar must have carefully 
dried wood given to him may be seen in a verse fragment in Vd 18 27 
(cf. ERPP, 157), which is presumably old. The additional requirement 
that it must be purified (yaoaddta) may well have meant originally that the 
bark must be stripped off, as here. Cf. Lat. delubrnm, and ERE, ii. 44. 

2 This suits the Parsi ritual use of the paitiddna, a small napkin worn 
over nose and mouth by a priest before the Fire, to prevent his breath from 
polluting it. 

3 Contrast Herod., vii. 113, where the Magi in the suite of Xerxes 
sacrificed white horses to the Strymon : the words seem to imply that 
a jet of blood was directed into the water. 

4 This item is not quite clear. The carpet of myrtle or bay is a develop 
ment of the old Aryan barhis-barazig (see p. 190). Are the "thin rods" 
simply the first stage of making a barsom, consecrating it by touching 
sacrificial meat ? 

6 This is of course the barsom : the notice is interesting as showing the 
kind of plant then used. It is still used in Yezd. 

6 I.e. ddravano. 

7 This was presumably to avoid the shedding of blood an extension of 
the precaution observed above. Cf. J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough 3 , ii. 241 : 
royal criminals in Siarn were pounded to death in iron cauldrons, because 


There are also fire-temples (TrvpaiOeia), a peculiar sort of 
enclosure, in the middle of which is an altar, with abundance 
of ashes upon it, and the Magi guard thereon a fire that is 
never quenched. They enter these by day, 1 and chant for 
almost an hour before the fire holding the bundle of rods, 
wearing felt headgear (r*apa?), which falls down on both sides 
for the cheek pieces to cover the lips. 2 The same usages are 
practised in the shrines of Anaitis and Omanus : 3 these also 
have secret enclosures, and an image of Omanus goes in 
procession. These things I have seen myself, but the former 
details and those to follow are described in the books of 

[Sections following deal with manners and customs : a few 
sentences are excerpted.] 

17 fin. Marriages are consummated at the beginning of the 
spring equinox. 4 The bridegroom goes to the bridal chamber 
after first eating an apple or the marrow of a camel, 5 but 
nothing else that day. 

20 (p. 735). They bury their dead after covering the body 
with wax. 6 The Magi they do not bury, but leave them to 

the royal blood must not be spilt on the ground. Dr Frazer gives much 
evidence (op. cit., 243 ff.) to show the widespread "unwillingness to shed 
blood, or at least to allow it to fall on the ground." 

1 For any ritual of the kind performed at night would all go to the 
profit of the Daevas, as the Vendidad shows. 

2 See note 2 , p. 408. The description here answers in every particular 
to the familiar medallion of a priest before the Fire, reproduced on the 
title-page of Geldner s Avesta, from MSS. more than a thousand years later 
than Strabo. There is the barsom and the penom (paitiddna), the coal-scuttle 
hat with irapayvaOities, and the book out of which the priest chants a Yasht 
(cf. Hdt., firadSfi Ofoyeviriv). Compare also the passage from Pausanias, 
quoted p. 208, n. 

3 This is assumed to be Vohumanah, chief of the Amesha in Later 
Avesta. If so, we have a significant divergence from the aniconic worship 
of the Avesta. For the one (late) Avestan parallel, see p. 101 above. 

4 When the productive powers of nature are in full activity. 

6 The names of Zarathustra and FraSa-ustra are evidence of the part the 
camel took in Iran. There may possibly be an allusion to the sexual power 
of the camel : cf. Tahmuras Frag. 65 (SBE, iv. 2 289, and Darmesteter s 

6 With this compare, not only Strabo s possible source, Herodotus, i. 140 
(p. 398), but also a passage later in this Book (p. 746, ch. i. 20), where 


be devoured by birds. It is the latter who by ancestral 
custom actually mate with their mothers. 1 


Diogenes 2 introduces his account of famous philosophers by 
remarking that Philosophy is said to have owed its origin to 
foreigners ((3dp6apoi). Thus " the Persians had Magians, the 
Babylonians or Assyrians Chaldaeans, the Indians had Gym- 
nosophists [fakirs], the Kelts and Galatians the so-called Druids 
and Semnothei, as Aristotle says in To Mayt/coY, 3 and Sotion in 
the 23rd book of his Aia<5ox>?." A few lines lower down 
he proceeds : 

" Now from the time of the Magi (whose chief was the 
Persian Zoroaster) up to the taking of Troy 5000 years elapsed, 
according to the Platonist Hermodorus in his book Jlept 
MaOrj/uLOLTcov. Xanthus the Lydian, however, says 600 (?) years 
passed between Zoroaster and the invasion of Xerxes ; and 
that after him there was a long succession (SiaSoxv) of Magi, 
with names like Ostanes, Astrampsychus, Gobryas, and Pazates, 
up to the conquest of the Persians by Alexander." 

The four names of Magi succeeding Zoroaster are explained 
by Windischmann (Studien, 286) as recalling (1) Av. uta, see the 
Ustavaiti Gatha ; (2) Vdstryo f&uyas, the name of agriculturists, 
given actually to Zarathushtra and his son ; (3) Gaubaruva 

Strabo says of the Assyrians, "They wail for their dead, as do the 
Egyptians and many others ; and they bury them in honey, having covered 
them with wax." The words edirrovtri Kijpy irepnr\<Lffa.vTfs are common to 
both : Herodotus says KaraK-npiaa-avrfs -yfl Kpvwrova-i. The difference of 
phraseology may possibly imply a supplementary source, which makes the 
note of a similar custom in Mesopotamia interesting. There is a further 
parallel in Herodotus, in his account of the Scythians (iv. 71), who " take 
up the corpse, KaraKfKrjpa>fj.fvov /j.ev rb arcana KT\." That Strabo omits the 
dogs has been noted above (pp. 202). 

1 TOI ITOIS Sf Kal /j.r)rpdtrt (rvvepx^ffSit irdrpiov v*v6fj.i<JTai. On this subject see 
p. 204-8. 

2 He called himself apparently Diogenes Laertiades (Laertios) by a punning 
use of the Homeric Aioytves AafpndSrj, with which Odysseus is so often 
addressed : it gave him a pen-name. Mr Hicks tells me that Wilamowitz 
anticipated this suggestion. 

3 So " in the anonymous list now referred to Hesychius," Mr Hicks tells 
me. It may of course be 6 


in Old Persian; (4) Hart et #179 in Herodotus (iii. 61), which 
Windischmann would connect with paiti-zan, "acknowledge, 11 
specially in a religious sense (as Ys 29 11 ). It may be observed 
that the second of these a most acute attempt to interpret a 
word that was certainly not invented suits the case I have tried 
to make above (p. 117 f.), that the priesthood was originally 
no separate order. Bartholomae (AirWb, 1416) would put v.fs 
in antithesis to aQravan ; but here a typical priest actually 
bears the name. Not much is added by later research to these 
notes of Windischmann, which at least bring out the entirely 
Iranian character of the names, and establish accordingly the 
certainty that the sources of Diogenes were not mere imaginative 
Greeks. The plural form in which the names occur " indicates 
type or class, 1 says Prof. Jackson (Zoroaster, 138 n.). That is, 
they will be rather sects than individuals. Justi (Namenbuch, 52) 
says of " ^crraVou " [why not Oa-ravai ?], " Austana hiess ein 
Priesterschaft welche sich mit Astronomie beschaftigte (also 
von dem Worte Awesta abzuleiten "), referring to this passage. 
The connexion with Avesta is unlikely enough. " > Ao-Tpa\fsvxov$ 
(p. 47) he only mentions as derived professedly, like the others, 
from Xanthus of Sardis : Suidas has 1 Ao-rpa i u^Jx OL f- Tufipvas 
is of course a good Persian name, Gaubaruva : see Justi, p. 112. 
Ha^ara? (p. 246) he compares with Patizeithes, and makes him 
" einer der Begriinder der Magie." Rapp (ZDMG, xx. 72) gives 
some other classical quotations : note also that from Suidas, 
" O&Tavai OUTOI Trpfaqv irapa liepcrai 9 Mayot eAeyovTO." It is 
at least possible that these four names may include more than one 
which really denotes a caste within the Magi of Sassanian times, 
for which Porphyry vouches (De Abstin., iv. 16). 

For the common idea among the Greeks that Zoroaster 
belonged to a period 6000 years before Alexander which is 
the same as the date given by Hermodorus (fourth century B.C.) 
above it will be enough to refer to Prof. Jackson s dissertation, 
Zoroaster, pp. 152 ff. Xanthus the Lydian was an elder con 
temporary of Herodotus, 1 according to Ephorus (ap. Athenaeus, 
xii. 515). But unfortunately textual certainty fails here in a 

1 Obviously Xanthus could not have named Alexander, except by a gift 
of second sight. But careless quotation on the part of Diogenes will 
perhaps sufficiently account for the anachronism. 


crucial matter. Two MSS. are said to read e^a/acrx/Am instead 
of egaKoaria, and Cobet (1850) adopted this reading, which 
accords with many other classical notices and is, I fear, more 
likely to be right. In view of some doubts attaching to the 
fragments of Xanthus, and the impossibility of depending on 
our text of this extract in Diogenes, I reluctantly pass on. 
But the notice is most tantalising, for it throws back by a 
century the earliest mention of Zarathushtra by a Greek writer, 
and it puts his floruit into the eleventh century B.C., which is 
just about the period that on other grounds I should very much 
like to give him, as explained in Lecture III. above. I must 
not stop to discuss Xanthus in general, a task which belongs 
to the historians and the specialists on Greek literature ; but 
it may be fairly noted that this particular extract is reasonable 
enough, and I should be well pleased to find it genuine. I 
note that in W. Christ s authoritative work on Greek literature 
(in Iwan Midler s Handbuch), ed. 6 , p. 454, it is observed that 
the finding of the Escurial fragment of Nicolaus Damascenus in 
1848 rehabilitated the credit of the Xanthus remains by the 
accurate local colour displayed. Mr Hicks refers me to Busolt 
(II. 2 451), who " writes as if he accepted without a doubt the 
existence of a Lydian historian in the reign of Artaxerxes." 
Before leaving Xanthus, I ought to refer to his other fragment 
which interests us, preserved by Nicolaus Damascenus (first 
century B.C.) : the text may be seen in Jackson s Zoroaster, 
p. 232. He speaks of " Zoroaster s oracles," in connexion with 
the Sibyl s responses, and then attributes to Zoroaster the 
precept not to burn corpses or otherwise pollute fire. If, then, 
Xanthus is really our oldest authority, we gather from him 
that Zoroaster was already in less than a century and a half, 
on the orthodox view ! invested with immemorial antiquity, 
and his name annexed by the Magi for the sanction of their 
most characteristic practice. So far, then, as his authority goes, 
I should quote him as evidence for dating Zarathushtra some 
centuries before the era fixed by the native tradition. 

These extracts, however, I have only given to prepare for the 
locus classicus that follows in 6 to 9 (ch. vi.). A paper by 
Mr Hicks upon Magian Doctrine in these sections, read before 
the Cambridge Philological Society on October 26th, 1911 


claims that "the authors cited" by the compiler "were at least 
as old as the fourth century B.C., except Hermippus and Sotion, 
who belonged to the third century. A comparison with the 
Avesta and other Parsee scriptures confirms the accuracy of 
the account as a whole." The disabilities of a no longer 
resident member of the Society have been made up for me by 
Mr Hicks s kindness in sending me his paper and permitting 
me to quote from it. His authority on all matters of Greek 
scholarship, and especially Greek philosophy, is such as to 
lend peculiar value to his impressions of the Parsi theology, 
even though read only in translations. Firstly, I borrow his 
version of the passage entire, with one or two of his notes 
which are important for my purpose: 1 attach to these the 
initials R. D. H., as in other notes upon this subject with 
which he has most kindly furnished me. He asks me to state 
that in his use of Avestan material he has mainly followed 

6. [The Chaldaeans busy themselves with astronomy and 
prediction,] but the Magi with the worship of the gods, with 
sacrifices and prayers, as if none but themselves have the ear of 
the gods. They propound their views concerning the being and 
origin of the gods, whom they hold to be fire, earth, and water. 1 
They condemn the use of images, 2 and especially the error of those 
who attribute to the divinities difference of sex. 3 (7) They hold 

1 This, of course, is not far from the truth, as far as genuine Magianism 
is concerned : as we have seen, it is very inadequate for Iranian religion, 
and utterly untrue for that of Zarathushtra. 

2 This may have been derived from the statement of Herodotus (i. 131 : 
see note above, p. 391). But here the Magi did not care (or dare) to disturb 
a scruple thoroughly characteristic of Zarathushtra and of the pre- 
Reformation religion as well. See also p. 67 f. 

3 This would be true of Zarathushtra himself, for his feminine 
Amshaspands are only grammatically endowed with sex, and his first 
three are neuter. But it is far from true of the Magi, who even used the 
Avestan figurative description of Aramaiti as Ahura Mazdah s " daughter " 
to enforce their own doctrine of the Khvetuk-das (see p. 204 f.). As little was 
it true of the Iranian Nature- worship : for example, as early as the Gatha 
Haptanghaiti there occurs the very Vedic denotation of the Waters as 
" wives of Ahura Mazdah." If Diogenes is depending on a good authority, 
we have here seemingly a trait of the Prophet himself, not otherwise 
preserved, but entirely in character. In view of the scarcity of genuine 


discourse of justice, and deem it impious to practise cremation ; 
but they see no impiety in marriage with a mother or a 
daughter, as Sotion relates in his 23rd book. 1 Further, they 
practise divination, and forecast the future, declaring that the 
gods appear to them in visible form. 2 Moreover, they say that 
the air is full of shapes which stream forth like vapour, and 
enter the eyes of the keen-sighted. 3 They prohibit personal 

notices of Zarathushtra in Greek writers, this is decidedly interesting : I 
wish we knew whom Diogenes was quoting. 

1 The dakhma and the khvetuk-das are combined, as so often in Greek 
accounts of the Magi. 

2 In the medallion reproduced from an Avestan MS. on the title-page of 
the great Avesta text of Geldner the figure of Ormazd is seen in the air 
above the sacred fire, before which the priest is ministering with barsom and 
service-book. An illustration from antiquity might be found in the 
Mazdeism of Commagene as set forth by Antiochus I. ; see Lecture III., 
p. 107 f., where a sentence of the famous inscription is shown to embody the 
idea that a Fravashi could appear visibly. That this is by no means a 
genuine Zoroastrian field does not matter. Divination and prediction are 
Magian characteristics : see p. 196 f. 

3 " I take this word (6v$fpKw) literally, of keen sight. But if the writer 
attributed magic to the Magians, it might bear the sense of adepts, 
Mahatmas. Pliny in his tirade (Nat. Hist., xxx. vi. 16) tells us that the 
Magians sometimes excused the failure of their seances by alleging physical 
defects, e.g. freckles, in those who took part in them. [In the whole sentence] 
(note the words el5ii \o>v . . . KOT atrAppoiav for ava.6v/jLidff(tas tl<TKpivofifv<av) I 
suspect contamination with Greek philosophemes. For e15<a\ot> is a 
technical term with the Atomists for the film or image emanating from 
objects perceived, and impinging upon the sense or the mind. AWppota is 
used in nearly the same sense, particularly by Empedocles, but also by 
Leucippus and Democritus, for the efflux of minute particles which 
stream off (cbroppe?) from the surface of all perceptible bodies. Again, 
ava,6v/j.iaffis is a Heraclitean term denoting the evaporation of fine matter 
from earth and sea, and its volatilisation into air. Variations in this 
process cause day and night, the seasons and years, rain and wind. It 
feeds flames and the stars, and is identified with soul. Now, if this 
sentence refers to the manifestations of the gods mentioned in the preceding 
words (Beovs e/j.<t>avifff6at ), I suspect that the Greek writer is putting forward 
a theory of Greek physicists, which he thinks would partly account for 
such manifestations. Spiritual beings could not be discerned by way of 
efflux, image or exhalation. The archangels and archfiends of Mazdeism 
seem always to have their corporeal as well as their incorporeal or spiritual 
aspect, at any rate for the Greek authority whom Diogenes here follows " 
(R. D. H.). The statement cannot be justified from the Parsi side ; for 


ornament, and the wearing of gold. Their dress is white, they 
make their bed on the ground, and their food is herbs, cheese, 1 
and coarse bread ; their staff is a reed, and their custom is (so 
we are told) to stick it into the cheese, and take up with it the 
part they eat. (8) With the art of magic 2 they were wholly 
unacquainted, according to Aristotle in his Magicus, and 
Deinon 3 in the 5th book of his history. Deinon tells us that 
the name Zoroaster literally interpreted means star-worshipper ; 4 
and Hermodorus 6 agrees with him. Aristotle, in the first book 
of his dialogue On Philosophy, declares the Magi to be more 
ancient than the Egyptians ; 6 further, that they believe in two 
principles, the good spirit and the evil spirit, the one called 
Zeus or Oromazdes, 7 the other Hades or Aremanius. 8 This is 
confirmed by Hermippus in his first book about the Magi, and 
by Eudoxus in his Voyage round the World, and by Theopompus 
in his Philippica. 9 (9) The last-named author says that accord 
ing to the Magi men will live in a future life and be immortal, 1 

there neither Ameshas nor Daevas have any corporeal aspect. Perhaps the 
material provinces of the Ameshas (fire, earth, etc.) suggested the idea. 

1 Pliny records a story that Zoroaster lived in the wilderness on cheese. 
Cf. the raoyna zaramaya, "spring butter," which is the ambrosia of the 
blessed in Garo nmana (Yt 22 18 ). On the white dress, see p. 397. 

2 rV yoririK^v /j.avreiav, i.e. "black magic." The Greeks distinguished 
between payeia and VOTJTJ/CT?. See p. 208 f., and some good reff. in L. H. 
Gray s article on Persian Divination, ERE, iv. 818 f. 

3 Fourth century, like Aristotle. 

4 AffrpofluTTjs. On this see p. 201. 
6 Fourth century. 

6 I have adduced evidence in Lecture VI. taking them back to the seventh 
century, and we may assume that their characteristic position as a sacred 
tribe was much older than this. This justifies Aristotle as far as is 
necessary. I should enter a caveat as to Aristotle : Mr Hicks tells me that 
" not only Valentine Rose, who holds all fragments of Aristotle to be 
spurious, but Heitz also, suspects the MayncSs." By way of compensation, 
Mr Hicks supplies another reference to the Magi from an undoubted work : 
see below, p. 420 f. 

7 Cf. " Zeus Oromasdes " in the Inscription of Antiochus of Commagene 
(above, p. 107). 

8 Compare above, pp. 128 f., 399. 

9 These writers are respectively third, fourth, and fourth century B.C. 

1 This is a very important notice when the date is considered, and the 
precision with which Diogenes locates the quotation. If my reconstruction 


and that their invocations ensure the permanence of the world. 1 

in Lecture VI. is justified, we must regularly sort out all Greek notices of 
the Magi, according as they appear to belong to them as repositories of 
Avestan doctrine, or to represent their own beliefs and practices as a 
distinct sacred caste. Naturally this would often be a question of 
geography : we should expect to find communities of Magi in non- 
Zoroastrian districts who kept to a late date their own peculiar tenets, 
being under no temptation to assimilate them to Avestan forms. The 
laxity of faith and practice under the Arsacid dynasty would encourage 
a great absence of uniformity even in districts which generally observed 
Avestan doctrine. In this notice of Theopompus we have a dogma 
which was probably alien to the Magi as such. This appears specially 
from Tobit, if I may assume the correctness of my reconstruction of the 
Magian folk-story which contributed groundwork to it : see p. 252. The 
story was taken over as it stood before the Magi attached themselves to 
Zoroastrianism ; and it has no doctrine of a future life, unless we are to 
suppose that the Jewish writer who used it excised this part of its teaching. 
Apart from this, I can only urge that a doctrine of immortality does not seem 
to me in keeping with the general character of purely Magian theology, 
except so far as death may have been regarded as a creation of Ahriman 
to be destroyed with his other works. (See p. 177 f.) Both Iranian religion 
and Zarathushtra s reform acknowledged immortality, the latter, of course, 
as the very pivot of his whole system. This notice of Theopompus may 
accordingly be claimed as evidence that the most essential feature of 
Zarathushtra s teaching had in the fourth century to this limited extent 
become known to writers of the West. 

1 " This is the plain sense of the clause ital ra ovra rats avrcav eVj/cA^<rn 
SjaytieVeic, and there is no need to adopt the makeshifts of early interpreters. 
Thus Isaac Casaubon s note Suggests rats avrwv (or ainais) eVi/cA^o-etrt Sia/j-evtlv, 
omnia suas appellationes retentura. But why should the names of things 
in the next world, in the state of immortality, receive this special notice?" 
(E. D. H.) I think I could answer this question, whether or no the 
emendation be accepted. The importance of names, as an integral part of 
the personality, is prominent in the Magian parts of the Avesta ; and I 
can quite believe that Magian custodians of Zarathushtra s doctrine would 
insist upon their perpetuity. And since the former of Casaubon s 
emendations only involves one changed breathing and one changed accent, 
it might fairly stand as an alternative explanation of the existing text. 
Mr Hicks proceeds to note that Meric Casaubon rejected his father s 
interpretation, and quoted a (decidedly apposite) passage from Cedrenus, 
a monk of the eleventh century : ea-n 5e /j.ayeia /uec firtK\T)ffis 8ai/j.6i (av ayaOo- 
iroiuv 8r)6fv, irpbs ayaOov Tivbs ffva Taffiv, Sxrirfp TO, TOV Tvaveais. " According to the 
Bundahish, the world of existence is the result of the creative effort of 
Ormazd on the one side and the malignant imitation of these creations by 
Ahriman on the other. [This is equally true of the Vendidad : see 


This is again confirmed by Eudemus, the Rhodian. 1 Hecatasus 2 
adds that according to them gods, as well as men, are born, 

especially Fargard i. J. H. M.] The two orders of creation are in incessant 
conflict. In order that the universe may persist, Ormazd and his angels 
must vanquish the devil and his angels, and they need all support in the 
struggle. Man with his free will can lend his aid, and thus lay up for him 
self a store of merit or righteousness, by good thoughts, good words, good 
deeds, and more particularly by sacrifice. He thus takes an active part in 
the conflict between gods and fiends. The sacrifice is more than an act of 
worship : it is an act of assistance to the gods. Gods, like men, need drink 
and food to be strong ; like men, they need praise and encouragement to 
be of good cheer. When not strengthened by the sacrifice, they fly helpless 
before their foes. [Cf. passages in metrical and therefore old Yashts, in 
which Yazatas declare that if only men would invoke them with a sacrifice 
that named their name (ao-^to-namana yasna very close to eVi /cArjo-is), they 
could conquer the foes of gods and men. So especially Tishtrya in Yt 8, 
in reference to his struggle with Apaosha, the Drought demon. J. H. M.] 
Spell or prayer is not less powerful than the offerings. The invocation by 
solemn formula is a weapon which Ormazd himself employs against his 
foe ; in the beginning of the world he confounded Ahriman by reciting the 
Honover. Man, too, sends his prayer between the earth and the heavens, 
there to smite the fiends (Ys 61)." (R. D. H., after Darmesteter, who 
compares the supersession of Indra in India by deified Prayer (Brahman).) 
He is, I think, on wholly right lines in interpreting the Iranian evidence. 
I have, a note elsewhere (p. 160) on the position of spells in Avestan 
religion. My only difficulty is that the second statement has on this 
interpretation nothing to do with the first. On Isaac Casaubon s lines we 
have a second statement which is a logical continuation of its predecessor : 
men are to live again, and their identity (and that of the world in which 
they live, except so far as the Ahrimanian creation goes) is to continue 
unchanged, as guaranteed by the permanence of their names, which are 
almost, like the fravashis, a part of themselves. Mr Hicks remarks on my 
note that linguistic tests break down, as eiriKArjtm and TO, WTO. are susceptible 
of either meaning. He thinks my preference makes the dative " perhaps a 
trifle less natural." We must, I fear, leave the matter open. 

1 Fourth century. 

2 Of Miletus, who lived in the sixth and early fifth centuries. This is 
accordingly one of our very earliest notices of the Magi, and it is tantalis- 
ingly brief. The historian or his epitomator has not troubled to justify 
the statement, which is difficult to fit on to what we know. Perhaps the 
best parallel will be the passage in Plutarch (above, p. 401) where he 
says Horomazes "created six gods" (the Amshaspands) and 24 others 
later, Areimanios creating avrirfx" 01 to them. Ahura Mazdah is called in 
the Avesta the "father" of Atar (Fire), Aramaiti, and other yazata ; and 
the epithet Mazdaddta is applied to Haoma and others. Perhaps these 



and have a beginning in time. 1 Clearchus of Soli 2 in his 
work On Education further makes the Gymnosophists to be 
descendants of the Magi, and some trace the Jews to the same 
origin also. 3 Furthermore, those who have written about the 
Magi criticise Herodotus. 4 They urge that Xerxes would 
never have cast javelins at the sun, nor have bound the sea 
with fetters, since in the creed of the Magi sun and sea are gods ; 
but that statues of the gods should be destroyed by Xerxes was 
natural enough. 

I must not yield to temptation, or I might be quoting Mr 
Hicks s paper whole, and thereby emulating the service that 
Diogenes has rendered us in preserving valuable matter which 
otherwise would not have survived. I will excerpt only one or 
two more passages which have importance for my purpose. 

" The Magians, whose doctrine is here presented, were 
clearly not magicians, as Aristotle saw, though Pliny, fom 
centuries later, perhaps wilfully confounded them ; for his owr 
account (N.H. xxx. 6) of the reasons why Tiridates refused tc 

facts will justify Hecataeus, in. whose day the Magi were only recently 
attached to Zoroastrianism, and therefore doubtless indifferent aboul 
excepting Ahura himself from the rule thus universally expressed. 

1 " E/caraTos Se Kal yevvriroiis TOVS 6eovs cleat KO.T avrovs. I have paraphrasec 
the words too freely, perhaps, but the position of /cat is not inconsisten 
with my rendering as well as men. " (B. D. H.) 

2 " Pupil of Aristotle." (R. D. H.) 

3 The modern analogue of this notion comes under consideration ii 
Lecture IX. It is a pity that Diogenes did not give us chapter and vere 
for this specially interesting assertion. 

4 The criticism means, of course, that like most moderns they assume* 
Magian rules to have been current in Persia in the time of Xerxes. I hav 
dealt with this question at length elsewhere, and need only observe her 
that evidence is abundant to show that a much longer period passed befor 
the Magian Revolt was sufficiently forgotten to allow the. Magi great powe 
in Persia : their religion also needed much adaptation before it could b 
mistaken for a kindred cult by the Persians. Mr Hicks well observes tha 
" under the Achsemeniau kings Mazdeism as we know it from the Avest 
gained ground but slowly, and there was a distinction between Magian an 
Persian to the end." For the reasons already given, I do not feel it necessar 
to regard the stories about Cyrus placing Croesus on a pyre, Cambyses burr 
ing the mummy of Amasis, or Xerxes flogging the sea or shooting arrow 
at the sun, as discredited by inconsistency with Magian religion. 


go by sea to Rome, and taxed the provinces with the expense 
of a land journey, 1 shows clearly that Tiridates was a follower 
of the Mazdean religion, which forbade him to defile the 
elements, as the Parsees of to-day consider it a crime to spit 
into the fire. Tacitus distinctly says that it was on grounds 
of religion that Vologeses, in a despatch to Nero, had at first 
declined the invitation to Rome for his brother Tiridates. 2 
Thus by the term Magian we are to understand a priest, and 
one of the Zoroastrian or Mazdean religion." 

These tabus are of course Magian in the strict sense of the 
word, and only attach themselves to the Zoroastrian or the 
Mazdean name by virtue of the syncretism which in the first 
century was very nearly complete. 

Of great interest to the student of Greek philosophy is Mr 
Hicks s discussion of possible influence of Magian doctrine on 
Greek thinkers. I must pass this by, only noting his conclusions 
because of their bearing on the dating of Magian dogmas. He 
decides against Prof. Goodrich s suggestion (Class. Rev., xx. 
208 f.) that there is an allusion to Zoroastrianism in Plato, 
PoliticiLS, 269E-270A, the Empedoclean doctrine of NeiVco? and 
QiXia. (Cf. Prof. J. G. Frazer s letter quoted in my notes on 
Plutarch, above, p. 404.) He is more inclined to accept Mr 
Goodrich s other suggestion, that Plato has Parsi doctrine in 
mind when he propounds (and rejects) the hypothesis of two 
gods with hostile intentions towards each other. But he notes 
that in Lhe Laws (x., p. 896E) " Plato hit upon another hypo 
thesis, that there are two souls in the universe, a good soul and 
an evil soul. 1 1 From the same book he quotes a passage which 
looks decidedly Magian : 

For as we acknowledge the world (ovpavov) to be full of 
many goods and also of evils, and of more evils than goods, 
there is, as we affirm, an undying conflict (/m;^ d^avaros) 
going on among us, which requires marvellous watchfulness ; 
and in that conflict the gods and demigods are our allies, and 
we are their property (Laws, 906A). 

1 Magus ad eum [Neronem] Tiridates venerat . . . ideo provinciis gravis. 
Navigare noluerat, quoniam exspuere in maria aliisque mortaliura necessi- 
tatibus violare naturam earn fas non putant. (On this see p. 216.) 

2 Nee recusaturum Tiridaten ... in urbem venire, nisi sacerdotii re- 
ligione attineretur (Annals, xv. 24). 


" The never-ending contest is as old as Heraclitus, and 
thoroughly Greek ; but that gods and men are marshalled 
together, and share the perils of the fight, that their co-opera 
tion is necessary to victory, is an idea more familiar in the East 
than in Greece. 1 Mr Hicks thinks that a nearer parallel may 
be found in a curious doctrine of Democritus, whose system of 
materialism and natural necessity admits it as an incongruous 
element suggesting alien origin. " If the travels attributed to 
Democritus are historical, he may well have learnt this part of 
the Magian religion. " The passage that gives us our informa 
tion is in Sextus, adv. Math., ix. 19: 

Democritus says, certain phantoms or images (etSwAa), some 
beneficent, others maleficent, come into touch with men ; and 
for that reason he prays that he may meet with favourable 
images. They are huge, nay, enormous ; not indeed hide 
structible, but nevertheless hard to destroy. They are seen of 
men, and heard to utter voices ; and they give prophetic warn- 
ing of what will come to pass. It was from the perception of 
these images that primitive men derived the idea of God. 
for apart from them no deity of immortal nature exists. 

To Mr Hicks this " does at first sight look like an adaptation 
of the doctrine of archangels and archfiends (or Fravashis ?), 
and of the other subordinate good and evil powers which we 
know in the Avesta." 1 " 1 If this is so, it will be the earliest Greel 
contact with Magian dualism, for Democritus was born aboul 
4-60 B.C. As we see elsewhere (p. 425), the name Areimaniof 
does not arrive in Greece, to our knowledge, earlier thai 
Aristotle (as quoted in Diogenes, above). It is therefore o 
importance if we are to recognise the conception (though no 
the name) in Plato s latest writing. To find it in Democritus 
a generation above him, is only to be admitted if the evidenc 
is very strong indeed : and I confess I do not see very convincin; 
resemblance here. 

Last among Mr Hicks s kind contributions are two furthe 
references to the Magi. In the Metaphysics, xiv. 4, p. 1091 b 1C 
after a reference to poets as mythologists, Aristotle continue; 

1 This last suggestion has occurred independently to Dr Casartelli "i 
spite of malevolent ones (perhaps a confusion ?)." 


u since those of them who are interspersed with a style not 
entirely mythical, e.g. Pherecydes and some others, make the 
first creator and begetter (TO y^vvr\fra.v TT/OWTOV, generating 
principle) the Best, and so do the Magi." I cite Mr Hicks s 
translation, with his remark that " this is as good as a recognition 
of Ormazd." I might add that " Best " ( Av. vahistd) is very 
much in keeping with Avestan phraseology from first to last. 
Mr Hicks gives me also the interesting reference to Diogenes 
Laertius, ii. 45, which I thus render: 

Aristotle says that a Magian came from Syria to Athens, and 
warned Socrates, among other things, that he would die a 
violent death. 

I suppose we may safely assign this to the Magicus, which makes 
it subject to the doubts raised by critics as noted above. If 
Aristotle really recorded this, it is an excellent example of the 
gift of the Magi for divination. Of the grounds of the critics 1 
questioning I have no knowledge. 



THE date when certain crucial names are first recorded in 
Greek writers or Oriental inscriptions, and the forms in which 
they appear, may supply information of importance for our 

Ahura Mazddh. (O.P. A h uramazda, M.P. Ohrmazd, 
N.P. Hurmuzd, Gk. T2/3o/xa<r<5>79, etc.) 

The name is always two words in the Avesta, and in the 
Gathas the elements are often separated by several words, and 
either of them may stand first. In Old Persian, on the other 
hand, except once in an inscription of Xerxes (Aurahya 
Mazdaha) and once where Aura stands alone in a Persepolis 
inscription of Darius, the name is always a compound with the 
second element only declined. It is to be noted that the name 
Mazddka is twice found in Media in the year 715 B.C. (E. Meyer 
in Enc. Brit. 11 , xxi. 205, cf. xxviii. 1041). This, with the two 
exceptions just noted, may be taken as evidence that in the 
time of Darius and Xerxes the union of the two elements was 
a recent fashion. (See above, p. 109 f.) It is accordingly 
noteworthy that they should be found in combination in an 
Assyrian list of gods, published by Hommel in PSBA, 1899, 
pp. 127, 138 f., dated in the middle of the seventh century B.C. 
The form is given by Zimmern (KAT? 486) as (ilu) As-sa-ra 
(ilu) Ma-za-as, the determinative of deity preceding each part. 
There follow the seven Igigi (gods of the sky) and seven 
Anunnaki (gods of underworld). Hommel is no doubt right 
in inferring that the name must have been taken over some 
centuries earlier : his own suggestion goes as far back as the 
Kassite period, 1700-1200 B.C. (Cf. also his observations in 



Geographie und Geschlchte des alien Orients, p. 204 (1904).) 
Hommel notes the absence of the nominative -s from the first 
element, while it is present in the second. This leads him to 
regard the word as a compound. I can only discuss this from 
the Indo-European point of view ; but there is a consideration 
that the Assyriologist might easily overlook, viz. that the 
sibilant at the end of Aryan Mazdhas l is radical, while that 
in Asuras is the sign of the nominative. The Aryan Asura 
Mazdhas, therefore, to which the Assyrian form seems to point, 
is capable of being taken in both elements as the bare stem and 
not the nominative at all. There are, however, some other 
considerations which Aryan philology suggests. Firstly comes 
the crucial question whether the form belongs to Aryan or 
Iranian. Indian is happily excluded here, as it is not in the 
Boghaz-keui deity-names, for the z is decisive. HommePs 
suggestion that Iranian may be recognised by postulating a 
period in which initial or intervocalic s had not yet reached 
h, but was in an intermediate position which was represented 
in Assyrian indifferently with s or s, seems satisfactory. But 
of course in any case the word must have been taken over 
centuries before Assurbanipal, to whose reign the inscription 
belongs. This characteristic Iranian sound-change must be 
allowed time to work, and it is complete before our oldest 
literature begins. 2 If we go back to the Aryan period, Hommers 
earliest Kassite century gives us hardly time enough, unless I 
press my own speculations outlined on pp. 5 and 26. Ed. Meyer 
regards the five Boghaz-keui divinities as Aryan ; but unless 
we are prepared to bring the Aryan migration into India down 
to the very end of the second millennium, we surely cannot 
find room for the differentiation, if the Aryan unity is still sub 
sisting in the fourteenth century B.C. But all the requirements 

1 Or MaSdhds (Bartholomae). 

2 Hopes of tracing Iranian in the second millennium by the help of the 
Kassi have vanished under the skilled criticism of Bloomfield (Am. Journ. 
Phil., xxv. 1-14). Hommel s two discussions were written before this paper, 
so that he is not proof against the natural temptation to recognise Skt 
suryas (nom.) in Suriag, one of the forty odd words of the Kassite vocabulary. 
With the useful example of Potomac before us, or Span. mucho = Q\nt 
much, we may safely trust the long arm of coincidence here, even if SuriaS 
were certainly a sun-god. See Hirt, Die Indogermanen, ii. 583 f. 


seem to be met by postulating an earlier stage of Iranian. In 
applying this to Assara Maza$, we may remark to begin with 
that the double s and the a instead of u, with z instead of 
zd in the second word, may prove to us that the name is not 
preserved exactly enough to found any argument on the 
presence or absence of a nominatival s. And further, if we 
may take the form as sound, there is still a strong probability 
that the vocative identical with the bare stem would supply 
the form for exportation : divine names are most heard in 
the vocative, and the leading case of the Latin luppiter 
shows how the form of invocation may fix the type. We 
are left, then, with the option to treat the Assyrian borrowed 
title as one word or two, and the probabilities for so early 
a date are strongly in favour of the two. For the bearing of 
Hommers discovery on the date of Zarathushtra see p. 31 f. 
The forms of the divine name in Greek must next be con 
sidered. Variation between and &S is only a matter of 
spelling. For Greek &> representing Persian au we may compare 
Fft>/3,oiW from Gaubaruva. Windischmann attributed the form 
Ayo/aa/xa^cfy? to Hermippus, but unfortunately it is only a con 
jecture, and a violent one. 1 If it existed, we should recognise the 
only Greek form that even suggested Avestan, since the y would 
mark the hiatus and produce a five-syllabled word. As it is, 
we note that the only possible source of the name is Old Persian 
and not Avestan. The earliest Greek writer to give the name 
is the author of the pseudo-Platonic dialogue Alcibiades 7.: 2 
reasons for its absence in Herodotus are attempted elsewhere 
(p. 60). Towards the end of the fourth century we have 
Aristotle, and probably Theopompus and Eudoxus. We need 
not trouble about testimonies later than Plutarch. How the 
Greeks got the name is clear, and that it can hardly have come 
to them much earlier than the end of the fifth century. 

1 Zor. St., 291. It is at least avowed as such, whereas Justi (Namenbuch, 
p. 7) assigns " Av^o/^da-S-ns " to Hermippus without a hint that it is not from 
the MSS. As far as I can find out, this is only a conjecture from Pliny s 
A zonaces (etc.), the clearly corrupt name of Zoroaster s instructor (NH. xxx. 
ii. 1 see Jackson, Zoroaster, p. 234). That the divine name does underlie 
this is likely enough. 

2 Professor Bui-net tells me this dialogue "can hardly be later than about 
the middle of the fourth century B.C., whoever its author may have been." 


Angra Mainyu 

The name occurs in the Later Avesta, and once in the 
Gathas, but is to the last less conspicuous than the older 
Druj. Like Ahura Mazdah, it is always two words in the 
Avesta. It does not occur in Old Persian, but later Persian 
encourages us to assume that it was fused into one word when 
it did become acclimatised in Persia ; and Greek most certainly 
received it from Persian and not Avestan. ^A/oef/xcmo? agrees 
with the modern Persian Ahriman. Its first appearance is in 
Aristotle Ilepl 3>i\otro<J>ias I., ap. Diogenes Laertius, Procem., 6. 
The difficulty is the et, for * A(h)ramanyus (nom.) would be the 
Old Persian form answering to the Avestan, when the two 
words coalesce into one, and this would demand Apa/u.dvios and 
a similar change in Persian ; cf. Middle Persian Aliraman. 
Bartholomae (AirWb, 105) says that "N.P. Ahriman, Gr. 
1 A/oeiyuaj to9, presume an original Iranian by-form *Ahriya." I 
cannot feel satisfied with this surely the Greek would be 
* A/o/oyU(mo9 or Ap/a/x ? though my own alternative 1 is not 
without difficulties. An Old Persian form * Ahrimanyus, with 
a feminine adjective, may be explained in one of two ways. 
Since nouns in ru are properly masc. (see Brugmann, Grundriss 
der vergl. Gramm.-, n. i. 224), we might be tempted by the 
analogy of another -yu- noun which is fern, in Iranian, dasyu-(m.), 
O.P. and Av. dahyu- (f.). But the semantics of this word and 
its morphology alike (cf. Brugmann, op. cit., p. 210) make it an 
unsafe parallel. I prefer to call in the Avestan Druj, the 
feminine fiend of Falsehood. In O.P. the masc. cognate drauga 
(also Avestan) takes this role, but Middle Persian druz helps 
us to believe that this word existed in O.P., as in Avestan 
(Gathic and Later) and Sanskrit (druh-, a fiend, thrice fern., 
twice masc. in Rgveda). Since the conception of Angra 
Mainyu is certainly Zarathushtra s own, and cannot have 
entered Persia except in conjunction with his doctrine, the far 
greater prominence of Drwj even in the Gathas was likely 
enough to colour the conception of the archfiend. And the 
feminine, if we could trust it, would be valuable witness for 

1 See Proceedings of the Third Internat. Congress of the History of Religions 
(Oxford, 1908), ii. 98. 


the genuine Avestan origin of the Persian importation. But 
I have to confess that I should expect Ahrd manyus rather than 
Ahrl m. ; and I only set this down because the difficulties of 
other explanations seem weightier. 


It is generally allowed now that the Prophet s name contains 
the word ustra, " camel," like that of his follower Frasa-ustra 
(4 sylls. in Gathas) : we compare at once Vlsta-aspa and Jdrna- 
aspa, containing the word for " horse." To equate with zaraO 
the cognate of yepov-r- seems on the whole most satisfactory : 
see p. 82. Its earliest Greek appearance is in the Alcibiades, 
quoted above, 1 and in Xanthus Lydus. 2 This brings the Greek 
witness into the reign of Artaxerxes II., or even Artaxerxes 
L, if Xanthus is accepted as dating thence. Apart from 
occasional variants with Zop., or in -49 instead of -779, we 
have no other form of the name till the reign of Augustus, 
when Diodorus Siculus (i. 94, 2) brings in the corrected form 
Za9pav<TTri$. There are forms like Za/oara? also current, from 
Plutarch down, but Justi is probably right in referring the 
original reference to some other person : in later times confusion 
arose. 3 How the Greek form started is very hard to conjecture. 
Justi (Namenbuch, s.v.) accepts a theory of E. Wilhelncfs, that 
it is due to a kind of spiritualising of an intractable name, so 
altered in Iranian as to suggest " one who sacrifices (yastar) with 
power (Av. zdvar physical strength )." The word appears in 
M.P. as zor, occurring frequently in the Turfan MSS., sometimes 
in its older form zdvar : it seems there to have a wider meaning. 
This ingenious explanation presumes an effort of priestly 
etymologising, of course within the Iranian area. Against this 
hypothetical process we can set another account which (whether 
sound or wild) did certainly take place within Iranian speech. 
For we have ancient evidence of a real popular etymology in 
the explanation of Zo) j ooaVr/o>;9 as a<TTpo9vT>i$, which comes to 

1 6 fj.ev fjLayeiav rt SiSdffKti r)]i> Zapodcrrpov rov flpo/u.dov. 

2 Ap. Nicolaus of Damascus and Diogenes Laertius : see Jackson, Zoroaster, 
pp. 232, 241. 

3 So Agathias (sixth century) on Za>p6affrpos "rov Opudfftiews," adding 

tiroi ZapdSys Sirr)) 7&p eV avrf rj tir(avv/j.ia (Jackson, Zoroaster, 248). 


us from Deinon (340 B.C., ace. to Ed. Meyer) and Hermodorus 
(fourth century B.C.), ap. Diogenes, Procem., 6 (p. 415 above). 
This implies that some form of Av. zaoQra (M.P. zohr) was 
brought in, with Gathic and Avestan star (mod. Pers. sitard). 
The elements of the compound are, it must be allowed, in the 
wrong order. If the Greek form Zopoacrrpw were better attested, 
we should have no trouble. The dental vanished in O.P., as 
in Ddrayavaus = A\. * Ddrayatvolius : we may quote also the 
Graeco-Bactrian A.PQQA.CTLQ = Aurvataspa (Lohrasp). The 
disappearance of the th, then, attests the influence of Old Persian, 
which we see all through these names. It has, in fact, to be 
stated generally that we can find no distinct traces of Zend in 
Greek writers, but only of Old Persian. 


The Avestan genius of Victory appears as A/oTayj/j?? in 
the Inscription of Antiochus of Commagene. This is a clearly 
Old Persian form. Kaniska s OPAAFNO is different, but 
equally far from the Avestan. An important question is 
raised by the etymology of this name, which is of course coin- 
pared with the Vedic cult-title of Indra Vrtrahan. That is 
assumed to mean " slayer of Vrtra " ; but the Iranian evidence 
makes it highly probable that the said demon is a myth in 
more senses than one. Bartholomae (AirWb, 1420), on the 
Avestan word varaOra, " assault," notes that the Skt equivalent 
Vrtra has changed its meaning. On var^Orayna, a neuter noun, 
he gives the meaning " repelling of assault," and points out that 
the masc. form is the result of personification. Justi (Namen- 
buch, 361) makes it mean "victoriously (lit. with victory) 
smiting." It is clear that the Indo- Aryans misunderstood the 
word, and invented a demon to explain a word which on analogy 
might naturally mean " slaying #," the x in question having 
gone out of use. 


The only point to observe here is the variation in Greek 
transliteration. Herodotus, who writes before the first appear 
ance of the name in the O.P. Inscriptions, represents Or by 
rp, as was always the case with a-arpair^. So in the proper 


names Mtr/oa^ar>/9 and Mtr/oo/Sar?/?. The latter (Herod, iii. 
120, 126), dating from the reign of Cambyses, is, according to 
Justi, the oldest historically credible name containing this 
element ( = MiQra-pdta, "protected by M."). There is earlier 
Greek attestation for a man of the next generation, MtT/ooyaO?;?, 
named by J^schylus, Persse, 43 (MSS. M^rpoy). Ctesias also 
has T/O, as Mir/oa^e/oj^^?, also M^T/OCOCTT^? (Midra vahiSta, ace. to 
Justi) ; and Xenophon mentions a Mir/ocuo?, but also M.iOpiSar^. 
The T/O occurs only sporadically after fourth century, as in M/r/oa, 
a proper name in an inscription of 79 A.D. at Komana (Bull. 
Corr. Hell., vii. 129). We may probably infer a more exact 
knowledge of the Persian pronunciation, coupled with the 
gradual spirantising of the Greek 6 which made it an exact 
representation of the Iranian sound. In one of the three 
appearances of the name on the Inscriptions of Artaxerxes 
Mnemon, who is the first to mention it, the spelling is Mitra : 
Bartholomae (AirWb, 1185) regards the variation as having 
no significance. But it is possibly suggestive that Mithra s 
companion Anahita is also imperfectly spelt Anahata in these 
inscriptions. So far as they go, they might prompt the idea 
that the names were strange as well as new : the mistake of 
Herodotus (i. 131), who confuses the two deities, might help 
the same inference. But the proper names derived from MiQra 
make such a conclusion highly precarious. The name at any 
rate is quotable from the Assyrian : cf. Zimmern in KA 7 1 , 3 486, 
where Mi-it-ra comes in association with Samas. The tablet 
is from AssurbanipaPs library, so that its antiquity is secure. 
Some points suggested by the Cappadocian record will be 
taken up in a separate note at the end. 


The name comes to us from Behistan, and in the form 
Mayo? from Sophocles (OT, 387), 1 Euripides (Orestes, 1496), 
and Herodotus, to name only the oldest. Slightly older, if 
genuine, is Xanthus the Lydian, who is said to have written 

1 Jebb s note may be quoted : " The Persian ^dyos (as conceived by the 
Greeks) was one who claimed to command the aid of beneficent deities 
(5ai/j.ovfs ayaOofpyoi), while the y&T)s was properly one who could call up the 
dead (Suid., I. 490 : cp. Plut., De Defect Orac., c. 10)." 


under Artaxerxes I. He refers to the succession of Magi 
following Zoroaster, whom he dates 6000 years before the 
Expedition of Xerxes. (See Jackson, Zoroaster, 241, and 
Diogenes Laertius, above, p. 410 f.) If Xanthus really is genuine, 
and is correctly dated, we have a strong argument for giving 
Zarathushtra some centuries 1 antiquity beyond the traditional 
date. But his notices do not inspire me with much confidence as 
a whole, except as a witness to fifth-century Magianism. In the 
Avesta the name only occurs once, in a prose passage : Ys 65 7 , 
ma no dpd . . . hasi-tbiZe ma moyu-tbise ma varazdno-tbise . . . 
frddditi, " Let not our Waters be given up to one who hates the 
brotherhood, hates the Magi, hates the community." The 
passage belongs to some very late period in which the priest 
hood uses at last a name that had been used of them by 
outsiders for ages, probably as a depreciatory title. I have 
given reasons elsewhere for expecting to find it at least a 
foreigners 1 name, like Welsh for Cymry, Greek for Hellene, or 
German for Deutsch. What is its origin ? The authority of 
Noldeke and Bezold (cf. Bartholomae, A ir Wb, 1111) removes the 
veto of the Assyriologists against the a priori probable assump 
tion that it is a Persian word, like the other five names of 
Median tribes in Herodotus, i. 101 . I venture to return to an 
etymology I proposed in 1892, 1 understanding it, however, in a 
different sense. L. Av. mayava, " unmarried," is compared by 
Bartholomae with the Gothic magus, which translates TTCU" ? (once 
reVi/oi/) : cf. thiumagus for TTCU? when it means " servant," a 
meaning which magus itself has in Lk. 15 26 . The same 
development of meaning has taken place in our own cognate 
maid and in O.Ir. mug, "servant." When the Aryan invaders 
( A/oi^ai/To/ in Herodotus) established themselves in Media, they 
may well have reduced the former inhabitants to serfdom and 
named them accordingly : the fact would account for the 
Magian preference for other names. In Avestan the word 
for boy developed along another line. For the acute and in 
many ways very seductive alternative proposed by Carnoy, see 
p. 183 n. 

I must stray for a moment into the Semitic field to ask 
whether the name Magu is not to be recognised in the Hebrew 
1 The Thinker, ii. 491. 


JO~31, which I have taken as apxi^ayo^ (above, p. 187 f., and 
in my article s.v. in Hastings 1 Bible Dictionary (one volume)). 
The Semitists (see Oxford Lexicon, s.v.) are not very decided. 
Dr C. H. W. Johns, in Enc. Bibl., 4000, cites a Rob mugi as 
" master of the horse in the Assyrian Court."" Naturally I 
cannot criticise this, which to an outsider seems very much 
more plausible than the other suggestions made from Semitic 
quarters : see Prof. Cheyne s contribution (Enc. Bibl., I.e.) 
which ends characteristically with the assertion that " JQ~2~i is 
corrupt."" Tide s discussion (Religionsgesch., ii. 110 f.) should 
just be mentioned. His objections to a/o^ /xayo? are twofold : 
(1) The sorcerers and magicians in Babylon and Assyria have 
an entirely different title. It is enough to reply that we are 
not obliged to assume the identity of this sacred caste with 
"sorcerers and magicians," even if their name connoted this 
some centuries later. (2) The Rab-mag is in Jer. 39 3 included 
among the king of Babylon s D*")? , in v. 13 among his D :n, 
and Magi were neither " Fiirsten " nor " Grossen." So he has 
recourse to a Sumerian word mag, "gross, machtig, glanzend, 
Herr, Furst," taken over by Assyrian, but never for priests or 
sorcerers. " These Maggi have nothing in common with the 
Medo-Persian Magi, and in all probability the Rab-mag has as 
little. If this last is really to be a chief Magus, he must have 
come from Media to Babylon, but this is not probable. 1 I do 
not know why, if the caste had anything like the position I have 
depicted on evidence gathered in the text. But I must not be 
understood to be anxious to defend the Rab-mag as an Archi- 
magus against Semitists, who have unquestionable rights to 
deal with him as they please. My inferences from E/ek. 8 17 
stand, whatever be Rab-mag s fate ; and I am quite content to 
plead only that the difficulty of Tiele (and Cheyne) is removed. 
They ask what a Magus was doing in a Babylonian galley. I 
hope my prolonged investigation may have proved that he had 
business there. 

The Cappadocian Calendar 

This subject does not on the face of it belong to the title of 
the present excursus : but it will soon be found to lie almost 
entirely within the limits. I have discussed some of the 


inferences in Lecture III. : here it is my object to examine 
the evidence that has been gathered from the names of Persian 
divinities in its bearing on the epoch of the earliest appearance 
of Amshaspands in the West. 

Prof. Cumont does not discuss the date at which the Persian 
Calendar was adopted in Cappadocia. He simply accepts the 
argument of M. E. Drouin in an article on the Calendar in 
Revue Arckeologique, 1889, especially the section in ii. 43 ft . 
M. Drouin s chief conclusions may be repeated. The Cappadocian 
Calendar must have been introduced by the Persians a tolerably 
long time after Darius I. and the adoption in Persia of the 
Avestan Calendar : otherwise the months taken over would have 
been those named on the Behistan Inscription. The first inter 
calation of a 13th month to rectify the solar year he proves 
to have been in 309 B.C. This is, then, the inferior limit, for 
after that date we should have found in Cappadocia the inter 
calation, or more probably the Macedonian months, since all 
Asia Minor was included in Alexander s empire. The fixing 
of the year at 365 days, and the adoption of the Avestan 
Calendar, M. Drouin dates in the middle of the fifth century. 
" We should not be far from the truth if we put the introduc 
tion of the Persian Calendar into Asia Minor about the year 
400 B.C." (This date, we have seen, Prof. Cumont takes over.) 
It is noted that the borrowing of the ejrayof^evaL to fill up the 
year comes from Egypt, and the 13th month from Chaldsea. 
The Old Persian Calendar may be supposed to have lasted 
the lives of Darius and Xerxes. This assumption, however, has 
to reckon with E. W. West s researches, the results of which 
may be seen in the introduction to SBE, xlvii. (pp. xlii. ff.), 
published in 1897, about eight years after Drouin s article, and 
earlier in the Academy (vol. xlix. I have not seen this last). 
West calculated that the year of 365 days, still current among 
the Parsis, must have been introduced in 505 B.C., with a margin 
of four to eight years in either direction for accidental errors of 
ancient observers. He gets this by the simple fact that 365 
days make the year too short by 2422 of a day, which he sets 
beside the datum that in 1864 " the beginning of the Parsi year, 
according to Persian reckoning, had retreated to August 24," 
or 210 days before the equinox. That the Parsi year should 


begin with the equinox we learn from the Bundahish, 1 which 
we have seen takes a specially high place in Pahlavi literature 
for the antiquity of its material. Obviously the 365 days year 
does not carry with it the names of the months. But West 
remarks that we do not hear of any change, and might reason 
ably expect to have heard if such a change took place. The 
assumption that Darius used the Old Persian months not only 
at the outset of his reign, when he dated his victories with them 
on the Behistan Rock, but to the end of his life, would 
necessitate our inferring that the Old Persian months also 
accounted for 365 days, for which we should need positive 
evidence that is not forthcoming. We may take it as proved 
that a 365 days year was established in Iran about 505 B.C., and 
therefore in the reign of Darius I. But the year which has 
been used among the Parsis, since the Sassanian era at least, 
is one of 365 days, and there is a presumption in favour of 
identifying them. The months are not named in the Avesta, 
except in one passage of Afrlnakan (see below). But, in what 
they include and what they exclude alike, they suit the mind of 
Darius remarkably well. We have seen good reason to believe 
that he was a genuine and earnest follower of Zarathushtra, 
while by no means fanatical as to the recognition of deities 
whom the Prophet sternly ignored : they could be acknowledged 
as bagaha, or yazatd, as the Later Avesta called them, with 
Ahura Mazdah unapproachably above them. The inclusion 
of the six Amshaspands shows that the epoch is after Zara 
thushtra, when his Aliura had been systernatised into a Hexad. 
But with them we find six others in Fravartin, Tir, Mitro, Avon, 
Ataro, Din, to give the Pahlavi names, presiding severally over 
the 1st, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th months. The sacred Fire 
and the Religion (Daena) might have been included by Zara 
thushtra. The Fravashis, Tishtrya (see below), Mithra, and the 
Waters are just the most conspicuous of the old divinities which 
Zarathushtra could not dispossess. And Haoma and Anahita 
are not there ! This last omission rules out Artaxerxes Mnemon 

1 Which, however, is not consistent, says Bartholomae(.4iWF&, 1117, 1119, 
s.v. maiSydirya, maiSyoi sam). B. seems to me inconclusive in his sug 
gestion of two different beginnings of the year in various early epochs 
(a priori somewhat unlikely). 



or any later time ; for even if a later Achaemenian reduced the 
triad (Auramazda, Anahita, Mithra) to aduad in his inscription, 
he would not have dropped Anahita out of a selection of twelve. 
It is, I think, safe to say that the convergent evidence of the 
astronomical data and the choice of divinities to preside over 
the months an undesigned coincidence which has peculiar 
weight takes us to Darius as the author, and in its turn 
strengthens the case for Darius s Zoioastrianism. There are 
many other questions suggested, such as the very curious order, 1 
but I have mentioned all that is necessary for the problem 
before us : we may transfer our attention to Cappadocia. 

The names of the Cappadocian months were given above : it 
will be remembered that they are indifferently preserved, and 
we are at liberty not only to choose between many variants 
in late Greek MSS., but to amend where necessary. I may 
repeat the restored forms, according to Cumont, adding the 
Old Persian names of the divinities from which they come : 


Named from 



ally com 








Mar. 21 



* Apaprava. 



Apr. 20 


Asa VahiSta 

* ApTaanmv 



May 20 

*Harvatdt Haurvatdt 




June 19 






July 19 






Aug. 18 


XxaQra Vairya 





Sept. 17 

Mi6ra, Mitra 




A van 

Oct. 17 



*ATro / uei/aTa 



Nov. 16 


A tar 




Dec. 16 






Jan. 15 


Vohu Manah 




Feb. 14 


Spantd Aramaiti 


The asterisk denotes restored or theoretical forms. I take the 
Pahlavi from Gray, the Cappadocian from Cumont : for the 
Old Persian I am responsible. I may add the modern Persian 

1 Dr Louis H. Gray (in his indispensable account of the Calendar in 
Grundriss, ii. 675-7) says this is still unexplained. 


for purposes of identification, as printed by Cumont Fravardm, 
Ardibahixht, Khordad, Ttr, Murdad, Shah?~evar, Mihr, Abdn, 
Adar, Dai, Bahman, Asfandarmad. Of the Avestan names 
five occur in the Afrinakan, 3 7 ff., viz. those of the 2nd, 
4th, 6th, 7th, and 10th (DaOuso see below) months. In each 
case the genitive of the proper name appears, with mah 

I take first one or two points of substance. The most strik 
ing, as it is obviously the only one in which the Cappadocian 
does not agree with the Persian in the oldest form we can reach, 
is the name of the tenth month. AaOovara (or TeOovcria) takes 
us to the Avestan daQus, dadus, the weak stem of the pf. part, 
act. of Jdd {riOrj/utt)- O.P. would be dadus, in all probability, 
but we have only one perfect form on our O.P. monuments. 
Now this name does actually occur in the Later Avesta : daOuw 
[gen. sg., sc. md], " (month) of the Creator " (Afrinakdn, 3 11 see 
AirWb, 1117). This word is perhaps the best example of a 
really Avestan word coming into the West indeed, I know no 
other of its antiquity. The use of the perfect participle as a 
title compare the aorist add (" he created V1 ) from the same 
verb in the standing formula of the Inscriptions with the 
characteristic 0, faithfully reproduced in the Greek, gives us 
really good reason to recognise a technical term of Later 
Avestan religious language. How early " The Religion " was 
substituted for " The Creator " we cannot tell, but it is highly 
probable that the change was made in the Sassanian Reform. 
The motive may have been that Ahura Mazdah could not fitly 
be set on a level with the Yazatas, unless the first month was 
given him, as was the first day of each month. 

Two other indications of antiquity meet us among these 
Cappadocian names. The name of the 7th month has very 
variant forms in the Greek MSS. ; but while some of them may 
well have been affected by the later pronunciation of Mithra^ 
name, MtOpt is attested by the very fact that no foreigner could 
have reconstructed this obsolete form. We are accordingly 
taken back at least to a period B.C., for the Middle Persian 
Mihir was producing proper names in the first century A.D. (see 
p. 233). Prof. Cumont takes this Mifyu as " one proof among 
many others that the Calendar was introduced into Cappadocis 


in the Achaemenian age." l The 6 here and in the name of the 
9th month would suit the Avestan form MiQrahe (gen.), 
26ro ; the in O.P. is a little prone to change to , as its Greek 
transliteration helps us to see. Then we have a very ancient 
name preserved in the 8th month, where we recognise Apam 
napat, the Aryan water genius (gen. napto in Av.). The Sas- 
sanian name has dropped this latter element. 

One difficult form remains to mention before I refer to a 
problem which goes deeper. The name of the last month has 
lost the p which appears in Avestan and Persian alike. 
Similarly Cumont s Armenian list shows (Textes, i. 133) that 
there were two forms, Spandaramet and Sandaramet, in that 
neighbouring language. One is sorely tempted towards assum 
ing dialectic variation in the treatment of the Aryan group $v 
(answering to West Indo-European Jcv) : cf. N.P. sag= " Median ? 
o-7ra/ca, and other cases explained by analogy-levelling in 
Bartholomae s Grammar (Grundriss, i. 29), with Brugmann s 
approval. 2 What levelling power was available for spmta ? 1 
can only suggest that possibly the Cappadocian god Sandan 
may have affected the name by a popular connexion. 

With the exception of the two words (1st and 2nd months) 
in which the Avestan s faces the Persian rt, the names come as 
near the Avestan as the Persian form, and sometimes nearer, as 
we have seen. But the 4th month presents us with a very 
serious difficulty. An Avestan text tells us that the month 
belonged to Tishtrya. The Cappadocian name is unmistakably 
Tlr. Lagarde long ago asked (Gesamm. Abh.^ p. 258-64) how 
Tistrya developed into N.P. Tlr. Still more have we reason to 
ask how Tlr could appear in Cappadocia three or four centuries 
B.C. We note that the Indo-Scythian coins (first century A.D.) 
show Tet/oo, while several Arsacide kings had the name Tiridates. 
Meanwhile (AirWb, 652) Tistrya becomes Tistr in Middle and 
Tistar in New Persian, a " learned word " there, in Bartholomae s 
opinion. Now the lexicographer himself (p. 651) gives *Tlra 
jas "name of a deity," comparing " TipiSaTW u.s.w.," and citing 
iNoldeke and Hiibschmann. I have been inclined to wonder 
whether this yazata, only recalled in the A vesta by a proper 

1 See West in Grundriss, ii. 76. 

2 See Tolman, p. 71, on O.P. asa, Av. aspa, "horse." 


name (Tiro-nakaQwa, Yt 13 126 ), may have given his name to 
the planet Mercury, so that the 4th month belonged to him 
rather than to Tishtrya. This would have to be through the 
medium of some confusion between the star-names, for we can 
hardly suppose Tira important enough to name a month except 
by some such accident. Of course the planets were yazata, not 
daeva, until the Magi dethroned them : see p. 211 f. An ex 
planation on these lines might help us to show how Tistar got 
into Cancer in the Bundahish (p. 27 above). It will also 
connect itself with the choice of Mercury to be the demonic 
fivTLTe\vos for Tishtrya in the system of the Pahlavi books. 
But here I have to reckon with the very important counter 
proposals of Mrs Maunder in her article on the Tishtrya mythus 
in The Observatory (Dec. 1912). The passage is too long to 
quote in full, and I am rather afraid of summarising. The 
interpretation is based on the configuration of the sky at the 
moment when the Sun in Cancer had set and the stars have 
appeared. Sagittarius (which Mrs Maunder acutely finds in 
" Ereksha the swift archer" in Yt 8 6 ) is then in the S.E., with 
Sagitta, his "arrow darted through the air," far over his head 
and confronting the other horseman, Centaurus, down in th( 
west : they thus represent the warring powers of good and evil 
I quote the two closing paragraphs : 

As it seems to me, then, the Tistar myth is essentially ; 
meteorological nature -myth, which took its rise in India 
Tistar is primarily not a star at all in our ordinary sense of th< 
word, but "the most bright and glorious star of all," the Sin 
of the summer solstice in its capacity as rain-bringer. But th< 
trappings of the myth were, I think, derived from the tw< 
great stellar figures that were so prominent in the evenin; 
sky after sundown, at the time of the beginning of the rains 
So Tistar was the Sun, or at least the Angel of the Sun, bu 
was conceived as embodied in the zodiacal sign Sagittarius 
Yet the tradition that identifies Tistar with Sirius has il 
justification, for Sirius rose heliacally at Delhi when the Su 
was in Cancer "in the month Tir," and the breaking < 
the monsoon was in suspense. 

This is the explanation of the myth that most appeals t 
me. But it should be noted that in the Tir Ya-st there is n 


mention of the month of the year ; that is only found in the 
Bundahu and the later commentary. Therefore, so far as 
the Tir Ya*t alone is concerned, the myth may have related 
originally to the winter rains of Persia, which fall in the ninth 
month the month of Sagittarius Twtar in this case would be 
the Sun in Sagittarius, as rain-bringer, and that constellation 
would still supply the imagined form for the Angel of the 
Rain. But in this case we should have to dismiss the connec 
tion, so emphatically stated in the Bundahis, between Twtar 
and Cancer and Tir, the fourth month of the year, as a late 
and mistaken gloss. 

I cannot presume to clear this matter up. I will only remark 
that if the myth did arise in India we can easily understand 
a confusion springing up between the age of the Yashts and 
that of the Bundahish. In this interval Babylonian star-lore 
was naturally domesticated among the Magi ; and the incon 
gruity between Median conditions and those which give birth 
to the myth in a southern latitude would be recognised. An 
attempt to reconcile the data might account for the confusion. 



Abercromby, 224. 
Arnold, E. V., 14. 

Bang, W., 277. 

Bartholomae, C., 4, 16-18, 23, 28, 
35, 52, 69, 83, 84, 86, 96, 97, 
115, 117, 129, 134, 135, 141, 
145, 149, 159-161, 171, 175, 
179, 182, 206, 211, 218, 239, 
257, 261, 263, 265, 269, 274, 
334, 343, 345, 347-349, 351- 
357, 359, 360, 362-368, 370- 

392, 411, 425, 427-429,432, 

Bartlet, J. V., 213. 

Benfey, 103. 

Bernardakis, 400, 403. 

Bertholet, 289, 343. 

Bezold, C, 429. 

Blakesley, J. W., 395. 

Bloomfield, M., 423. 

Boklen, E., 166, 177, 253, 282, 

308, 313, 314, 317, 319, 404- 

Bousset, W., 9, 213, 288, 319, 

321, 328. 
Breal, M., 133. 
Bremer, 393. 
Brugmann, K., 64, 65, 266, 387, 

393, 425, 435. 
Burnet, J., 424. 
Busolt, 412. 

Carnoy, 10, 11, 98, 112, 183, 

184, 220, 349, 359, 429- 
Carter, J. B., 263. 

Casartelli, L. C., xii, 18, 49, 55, 
99, 125, 126, 134, 137, 145, 
161, 163, 175, 177, 183, 205, 
224, 253, 260, 283-285, 291, 
334, 358, 420. 

Casaubon, I., 416, 417. 

Casaubon, M., 41 6. 

Chadwick, H. M., 31, 165, 393. 

Cheyne, T, K., 188, 221, 241, 
255, 282, 430. 

Christ, W., 412. 

Clemen, C., 214, 274, 275, 282, 
317, 326-328. 

Cobet, 412. 

Con way, R. S., 91, 92. 

Conybeare, F. C., 17. 

Cook, A. B., 61. 

Cowell, E. B., xiii, 28, 343. 

Curaont, F., 10, 11, 32, 33, 6l, 
63, 87, 103, 104, 107, 129, 
133, 212, 213, 233, 238, 282, 
399-402, 431, 433-435. 

Darmesteter, J., vii, 9-1 2, 27, 29, 
30, 33, 62, 74, 99, 103, 104, 
111, 129, 130, 142, 143, 147, 
150, 171, 180, 193, 206, 209, 
211, 222, 256, 257, 269, 279, 
289, 298, 317, 334-336, 391, 
392, 402, 405, 409, 413, 417. 

Davids, T. W. Rhys, 16, 193. 

De Groot, J. J. M., 303, 304. 

Deissmann, A., 298, 400. 

Dittenberger, W., 37, 54, 106, 

Drews, 17, 296. 




Driver, S. R., 314. 
Drouin, E., 431. 
Diibner, 400. 
Duperron, Anquetil, 8, 36. 

Estienne, H., 103. 

Farnell, L. R., 236, 394. 

Pick, A., 4. 

Flugel, 234. 

Fowler, W. Warde, 63, 64, 91, 

Foy, W., 51, 238. 

Frazer, J. G., xiii, 128, 152, 191, 
193, 200, 208, 219, 225, 26l, 
267, 270, 272, 277, 287, 394, 
403-406, 408, 409, 419- 

Geiger, W., 23, 134, 194. 

Geldner, K., vii, 8, 15-18,28, 
30, 68, 80, 101, 132, 141, 142, 
161, 171, 343, 349, 351, 352, 
356, 358, 359, 36l, 365, 368, 
370, 371, 375-378, 380-389, 
392, 409, 4<14<. 

Gilmore, 186. 

Goodrich, W. J., 419. 

Grassmann, H., 359. 

Gray, G. B., 305. 

^Gray, L. H., 51-55, 57-59, 133, 
187, 190, 191,415,433. 

Gressmann, H., 302, 317, 318. 

Griinbaum, 251. 

Gunkel, H., 113, 241-243, 402. 

Harlez, C. de, 164, 165, 175. 
Harnack, A., 287. 
Harris, J. Rendel, 115, 248. 
Harrison, J. E., 263. 
Hartland, E. S., 334. 
Hatch, Edwin, 292. 
Haug, M., 29, ]91,269. 
Headlam, Walter, 12 
Heitz, 415. 
Herford, C. H., 92. 
Hicks, R. D., xiii, 391, 410, 412 

Hirt, H., 5, 70, 244, 423. 

Hogg, H. W., 65. 

Hommel, F., 31, 32, 53, 56, 394, 

400, 422-424. 
Horn, P., 310. 
How, W. W., 396, 398. 
Hiibschmann, H., 435. 
Hyde, T., 36, 82. 

Jackson, A. V. Williams, xii, 3, 6, 
16-19, 22, 29, 30, 35, 51, 57, 
83, 84, 89, 91, 95, 114, 134, 
135, 156, 163, 164, 190, 191, 
212, 220, 226, 257, 262, 265, 
269, 271, 272, 275, 295, 301, 
306, 312-314, 320, 323, 325, 
326, 330, 350, 356, 376, 380, 
400, 402, 411, 412, 424, 426, 

James, M. R., 314. 

Jastrow, M., 199- 

Jebb, R. C., 428. 

Jensen, 83, 238, 296. 

Johannson, A., 271. 

Johansson, K. F., 271. 

Johns, C. H. W., 31, 188, 430. 

Justi, F., 18, 206, 259, 277, 343, 
348, 351, 355, 373, 375, 411, 
424, 426-428. 

Kepler, 283. 

Killip, R., 23. 

Kohut, 221, 249, 253, 334, 338. 

Kretschmer, P., 4. 

Lagarde, P. de, 103, 399, 435. 
Lawson, J. C., 249. 
Lehmann, E., 70, 71, 256. 
Luekens, W., 289. 

Macdonell, A. A., 74, 117. 

Markland, 406. 

Maunder, E. W., 23-27, 237, 


Maunder, Mrs, 26, 27, 401, 436. 
Meillet, A., 63-66. 



Meyer, E., vii, 5, 6, 18, 30, 73, 

119, 184, 208, 240, 242, 286, 

422, 423, 427. 
Mills, L. H., 9, 20, 170, 190, 

298, 304, 343, 351, 365, 371, 

378, 380. 

Modi, J. J., xiv, 191, 334. 
Moffatt, J., 328. 
Miiller, C., 189, 204, 210. 
Miiller, F., 81. 
Miiller, F. W. H., 234, 274. 

Nariman, G. K., xiv, 230, 356. 
Noldeke, T., 338, 429, 435. 

Oldenberg, H., 74, 240, 244, 


Oppert, 183, 229, 232. 
Orelli, C., 266. 

Peake, A. S., 188, 292. 

Rapp, 400, 402, 411. 
Rawlinson, H. C., 35. 
Reichelt, H., 6l, 86. 
Reinach, S., 33. 
Ridgeway, W., 5, 233. 
Robertson, J. M., 16. 
Roscoe, J., 222, 225. 
Rose, 415. 
Roth, R., 175, 176, 358. 

Saadya, 221. 
Sachau, E., 226, 257. 
Sanjana, D. P., xiv, 205. 
Sayce, A. H., 36, 232, 391, 393. 
Schmidt, J., 244. 
Schmiedel, P. W., 348. 
Schrader, Otto, 69, 74, 117, 131, 

150, 188, 192, 200, 225, 262, 


Schiirer, E., 298. 
Seligmann, 225. 
Simpson, D. C., 246-248, 338. 
Skinner, J., 292. 

Smith, W. Robertson, 338. 

Soderblom,N., 6,17, 68, 110, 132, 
133, 147, 158, 159, 164, 165, 
169-171, 175, 177, 193, 241, 
256, 257, 259, 265, 271, 289, 
292, 299, 306, 309, 315, 326, 
370, 377, 392, 395, 403, 406. 

Spencer, Herbert, 404. 

Spiegel, F., 7, 242, 392. 

Stade, B., 289, 305. 

Stave, E., 169, 275, 306, 308. 

Strachan, J., 76. 

Tait, J., 320. 

Tarn, W. W., 85, 86. 

Thomas, N. W., 268. 

Tiele, C. P., 6, 18, 62, 71, 139, 
167, 216, 230, 232, 238, 241, 
282, 351, 356, 365, 401, 430. 

Tolman, H. C., 274, 277. 

Toy, C. H., 191. 

Voigt, H., 283. 

Walde, A., 65, 1 75. 

Weber, A., 299. 

Weissbach, F. H., 109, 277. 

Wells, J., 396, 398. 

West, E. W., 18, 133, 207, 310, 

313, 315, 334, 336, 374, 403, 

431, 432, 435. 
Westergaard, 26 1. 
Whitney, W. D., 14. 
Wilamowitz, U. von, 400, 410. 
Wilhelm, E., 187, 197, 201, 210, 

281, 426. 

Winckler, H., 5-7, 188. 
Windischmann,F., 400, 402, 406, 

410, 411, 424. 
Wissowa, C., 266. 
Wolff, F., 121, 122, 129. 

Zeller, H., 404. 

Zimmern, H., 188, 242, 402, 
422, 428. 




(a) Gathas 
[Only the notes are indexed in p. 344-390] 

: Ys 27 13 (Ahuna Vairya) Ys 32 5 

. 136 

F*44 6 

. 382 

160 f., 168 32 8 . 

. 148 

44 7 . 

. 291 

28 4 . 

. 170 23 12 " 14 

. 380 

44 10 

. 372 

28 5 


32 14 

. 72 

44 12 

. 135 


32 15 

. 166 

44 16 

. 385 

29 7 . 

. 381 

33 1 . 

. 168, 175 

44 18 

83, 155, 376 

29 10 

. 83 

33 4 . 

. 112, 117 

44 20 

. 140 


359, 373, 386, 

33 5 . 

. 174, 300 

45 2 

49,135 f., 263, 


33 6 . 

111 f., 116, 

305, 399 

30 1 . 

. 172 


45 5 . 

. 113 

SO 3 

132 f., 136 f., 

33 8 . 

. 174 

45 6 . 

. 386 


33 10 

. 50 

45 T . 

173 f. 

30 4 

132 f., 145, 

33 13 

. 95, 363 

45 10 

. 96 

362, 372 

33 14 

. Ill 

45 11 

- 264 

30 15 . 

. 307 

34 1 . 

167 f. 

46 . 

. 141 

SO 7 . 

. 163, 378 


. 1 69, 364 

46 2 . 

. 360 

30 9 . 

. 112, 158 

34 11 

. 364, 385 

46 10 

. 155, 164, 

30 10 

. 171 

34 12 

. 364 


SO 11 

. 174 

34 14 

. 155 

46 11 

162, 164, 174 

31 3 

354, 372, 385 

43 2 . 

. 162 

46 12 

. 197 


. 114, 363 

43 3 . 

. 147 

46 14 

. 349 

31 7 . 

. 402 

43 4 . 

. 169, 361 

46 16 

. 171 

31 9 . 

. 377 

43 11 

. 376 

46 17 

166 f. 

31 10 

. 129 

43 12 

. 159 

47 1 . 

. 96 

3 1 12 

. 360 

43 13 

. 390 

47 3 . 

359, 367, 382 

31 13 


43 15 

. 135 

47 6 . 

. 372 

31 15 

. 83 

43 16 

. 159 

48 1 . 

. 371 

31 20 

. 162, 174 

44 . 

- 95 

48 2 . 

. 159, 372 

31 21 

- 95 

44 1 . 

. 378 

48 4 . 

. 175, 358 

31 22 

. 100 

44 3 . 

. 298 

48 6 . 

. 164 

32 1 

117, 358, 381 

44 4 . 

. 271 

48 8 . 

. 386 

32 s 

112, 132, 138 

44 5 . 

95, 291, 367 

48 10 

72, 135, 358 




F?49 4 

. 264 

Fy51 4 . . 152 

Fs51 16 


49 5 . 

. 355 

51 7 . . 114, 360 

51 21 



. 354 

51 10 . . 218 

53 . 82, 147, 


50 2 

367, 385, 386 

51 11 . . 349 

53 4 . . 171, 


50 4 . 

. 386 

51 12 . . 83 

53 6 . 


50 10 

. 373 

51 13 . . 164 

53 7 . . 349, 


51 1 . 

.. 382 390 

51 15 . . 359 

(6) Gatha Haptanghaiti (see also Index III.) 

F*S5 9 

. .121 

F*37 3 . . 264 

FJ 42 . 


36 3 . 

. 393 

38 . . . 393 

42 2 . 


36 6 . 

. 387 

38 1 . . . 121 

42 3 . 


37 1 . 

. 121 

39 3 . . . 122 

42 6 . 


(c) Later Avesta 

F* l 2 . 

. 347 Yt 5 98 . . 206 

Yt 13 104 . 278, 



. 72 

8 242, 280 f., 417 

13 120 


9 13 . 

. 275 

8 5 . . . 23 f. 

13 126 


9 21 

. 400 

8 6 . . . 436 

13 129 


10 4 . 

. 74 

10 67, 140, 150 f. 

13 155 


10 14 

. 194 

10 2 . . . 151 

14 35 


II 6 . 

. 194 

10 3 . . . 270 

15 27 


16 7 . 

. 261 

10 14 . . 86 

15 35 


16 8 . 

. 400 

10 31 . . 394 

15 54 


23 1 . 

. 270, 274 

10 68 . . 405 

17 16 


26 7 . 

. 261 

10 95 . . 62 

19 . 27,90, 



. 388 

10 126 . . 397 

19 17 


55 2 . 

. 328 

12 . . . 210 

](J34 ff. 


57 12 

. 99 

13 . 28,56,90, 163, 

jg38 ff 


6l lf - 

. 417 

267, 388 

19 46 ! 


65 7 . 

. 429 

13 2r . . 280 

19 56 


68 s . 

. 400 

13 3 . . . 61 

1 966-9 


70 2 . 

. 347 

13 MO . . 277 

1966 f. 


71 23 

. 261 

13 11 . . 270 

19 89 


Yt 3 13 

. 392 

13 16 . 28, 115 

[Yt] 22 


4 7 . 

. 116 

13 17 . . 273 

22 15 


5 . 

22, 78, 128, 

13 49 . . 260 

22 16 " 18 1 

238, 240 

13 57t - . . 280 

22 18 


5 21 . 

. 58 

13 61 . . 163 

22 36 


5 42 . 

. 245, 333 
. 276 

IS 64 . . 278 
13 70 . . 260 

[Yt] 24 29 . 
Visp II 7 


5 64 

. 328 

13 74 . . 262 

Vd 1 . 


5 81 . 

. 28 

13 80 . . 275 

I 1 f -. 


5 85 . 

. 212 

13 82f - . . 98 

I 13 . . 203, 


5 89 . 

. 218 

13 94 . . 112 

211 15 19 


5 94 . 

. 129 

13 97 . ; 19 

3 12 . . 




yd s^ 

. 333 

yd 826 r. 

. 396 yd 19 2 - 25 . 68, 


4,20, etc. 

. 390 

8 31 . 

. 147 



5 9 

. 163 

8 37f. 

. 334 19 42 


5 10 f. 

. 334 

8 79 . 

. 285 i 19 43 . 115, 


5 43 . 

. 390 

10 9 . 

. 115, 401 Nir 44 


6 4 , eti; 

. 390 

13 2 . 

. 400 

48 . 


6 44 ff 

. 333 

13 9 . 

. 333 

Afrin 3 7ff - . 


6 60 f - 

. 334 13 24 , 37 

. 390 Hadhokht Nask, 


7 71 . 

. 390 

14 . 

. 221 

[K] 22. 

7 79 

.129 I5 l - etc - 

. 390 

Vishtasp Yasht, 



. 223 

18 27 

. 408 

[Yt] 24. 

8 2 . 

. 285 

18 37ff. 

. 336 

8 13 . 

. 223 19 6 . 

. 218 

Fragments (by pages in Darmesteter s English version) 

SBE iv. 2 

247 (W. 4 3 ) 

SBE 289 

. 409 

SBE 383 . 




. 335 

xxiii. 322 


SBE ] 

(W. 10 39 ) 261 


. 336 

(d) Pahlavi Writings (by pages in SBE) 

SBE v. 5 f. (Bd l 8 20 ) 

SBEv. I26f.(5d30 26 ) 

SBE xxiv. 92 (Mkh 



49 22 ) . .281 

lOf. (Bd 2) . 402 

127 (Bd SO 28 ) .315 

258 (Sd I 3 7 ) .313 

12 (Bd 2 7 ) . 23 

129 (Bd SO 33 ) 403 

259 (Sd 2 s - 5 ) 313 

14(Brf2 10 f.) 273 

137(fid31 28f )206f. 

xxxvii. 196 (Dki\. 

21 (Bd 5 1 ) . 211 

149 (Bd 34 1 ) 272 f. 

13 9 ) . 31 5 f. 

41 (Bdl2 41 ) . 214 

160 (SZS I 24 ) 133 

242 (DA ix. 30 4 ) 

1 06 (fid 2 8 10 ) 115 

197 (BYt 2 12 ) 316 

133, 349 

114(firf28 47 ) 315 

203 (BYtZ) 316 

266(Dkix. 35 6 ) 316 

12lf.(d30 5 f.) 291 

297 (SIS 6 7 ) 336 

273 (Dk ix. 38 5 ) 

124 (fid SO 11 ) . 315 

363 (SIS 13 29 ) 336 


124 (fid SO 12 ) . 361 

xxiv. 85 (MM 

Arda Viraf, cc. 18, 54 

1 26 (Bd 30 20 ) . 157 

44 8 11 ) . . 402 


(e) Old Persian Inscriptions (Tolman s 

pages added) 

3h I 5 (p. 2) . 50 

Bh 4 18 (p. 28 f.) . 195 

Dar. NR. a. 1 (p. 44) 

: I 10 (p. 4) 45, 55 

Dar. Pers. d. 3 (p. 36) 

52,95, 122, 291, 402 

! I 12 (p. 6) . 44 

51, 53, 274 

a. 3 (p. 46) . 86 

I 14 (p. 6) 52, 391 

e. 2 (p. 38) . 86 

Art. Sus. [a] (cf. p. 

2 16 (p. 16) . 45 

e. 3 (p. 38) . 422 

49) . . 78 

3 15 (p. 22) . 277 

Xerx. Pers. c. 3 (p. 40) 

Art. Ham. (p. 54) 78 

4*2 (p. 26) .51 


4 13 (p. 26) . 136 

Art. Pers. a. 4 (p. 44) 52 



(f) Middle and New Persian 

Shah Nameh, i. 256, 

260, 339 

Rigveda, iii. 59 
vii. 104 3 . 
x. 10 
x. 135 7 . 

. 63 
. 173 
. 205 
. 170 

Turf an MSS., pp. 18, 
24 . 274 

(g) Sanskrit 

Rigveda, x. 14 10 . 333 

Nalopdkhyanam, v. 23, 


TurJ an MSS., pp. 46, 
101, etc. . 234 

Sayana, on Rv. vii. 36 8 


viii. 42 3 . 10 

(a) Old Testament 

Gen. I 6 

. 66 

Job 28 

. 291 

Isai. 45 7 

220, 291 

20 12 

. 337 

31 6 . 

. 314 

Jerem. 7 18 . 

. 394 

22 2i 

. 337 

Ps. 22 4 

. 170 

Jerem. 1 14 . 

. 304 

Ex. 10 21 

. 315 

97 2 . 

. 293 


187, 430 

Num. 36 s . 

. 250 

Prov. 8 30 

. 291 

Ezek. 8 16 17 

x, 189f., 

Jud. 17 13 . 

. 194 

l6 2 . 

. 314 

230, 430 

1 Sam. 2 3 . 

. 314 

21 2 . 

. 314 

Ezek. 33 1 9 . 

. 315 

26 19 

. 54 < 24 12 

. 314 

Dan. 8 5 

. 318 

2 Sam. 24 1 . 

. 325 

Eccl. 12 7 

. 262 

Joel 3 14 

. 311 

2 Kings 5 1T . 
17 6 . 

. 54 

. 247 

Isai. 7 U 
I7 io 

. 310 
. 190 

Mic. 7 6 
Zech. 14 10 . 

. 316 
. 214 

I7 26f. 

. 54 


. 214 

Mai. I 11 . 

. 286 

1 Chron. 21 ! 

. 325 

41 3 . 


Job 1, 2 

. 306 44 20 

. 304 

(b) New 


Matt. 1, 2 . 


. 297 
. 310 

Luke 2 14 

4 . 

. 294 
. 306 

Acts 23 8 . 
Rom. I 25 

. 323 
. 304 

2 1 - 12 . xii. 


6 31 . 

. 315 

12 1 . 

. 360 

3 2 . 

. 366 

ll 2 . 

. 294 

1 Cor. 3 15 . 

. 175 

4 17 . 

. 366 

15 26 

. 429 

12 31 

. 295 

5 48 . 

. 295 

l6 22f - 

. 316 

13 12 

. 295 

10 35 

. 316 

20 35 

. 315 

15 45ff- _ 

. 327 

18 10 

. 324 

22 18 

. 179 

2 Cor. 4 4 . 

. 306 

25 2 . 

. 351 

John 4 24 

292 f. 

5 1 f - . 

. 328 

25 32 

. 311 

10 10 . 

. 295 

5 3 . 

. 315 

25 34 

. 358 

12 31 

. 306 

5 10 . 

379, 382 

25 40 

. 315 

12 48 

. 168, 361 

12 2ff - 

. 328 

Mark 3 35 . 

j g30-32 

. 372 
. 309 

Acts 8 11 
12 15 

. 208 
. 248, 324 

Philipp. 2 6f 
Eph. 6 12 . 

. 327 
. 392 



1 Tim. 3 16 . 

. 328 Jude 9 

. 328 

Rev. 9 15 

. 326 

6". . 

. 295 Ret: I 4 

. 327 

12 9 

. 392 

; Hebr. 4 14 

. 328 I 13 . 

. 328 

20 2 

. 326 

5 7f - 

. 294 2 1 etc. 

. 274, 325 

20 710 

. 326 

Jas. I 26f - . 

. 295 4 3 . 

. 297 

21 2 

. 326 

2 Pet. 3 4 . 

. 309 4 4 . 

. 402 

2 1 10 ff. 

. 308 

3 s 

. 405 4 6 . 

. 303 j 21 16 

. 214 


. 303 8 7 12 

. 326 ! 21" 

. 304 

1 John 5 19 . 

. 306 8 10 . 

. 326 22 15 

. 131 

(c) Apocrypha 

Tob. I 18 

2 4 . 

2 5 9 


417 . 

6 12 . 


Tob. 8 s 




12 15 


Wisd. 2 23 


2 24 . 


7 17 . 


2 Mac. 7 28 


Enoch 52 6 ( 


ii. 21 


Enoch 67* ff (Oxf. 

Apocr. ii. 232) 

Test, of Abraham, p. 90 

(James) .314 
Sibyll. Or. iii. 777-9 

(Oxf. Apocr. ii. 

392) . . 214 


Koran s. 7 . .176 

Albiruni (c. 1000 A.D. Sachau 
ed. 1 ) p. 210 . . 257 f. 

Albiruni p. 314 . . .226 
Kazwini (c. 1263 A.D.) i. 132 . 338 

(a) Greek Authors 

Diogenes Laertius 
Procem. 6-9 410- 

6 403, 427 
9 - 405 
ii. 45 . . 421 
Euripides, Orestes, 

1496 428 

Herodotus, i. 96 . 269 
i. 101 60, 117, 

183, 229, 429 
i. 107 . . 187 
i. 120 . . 196 
i. 131-140 59-69, 

of Gaza (c. 500 
A.D.) De Animi 1m- 
mort. 11 .405 
; ./Eschylus, 

Ckoeph.4,23 . 185 
! Persae, 43 . .428 
Persae, 977 . 392 

Aristotle, Melaph. p. 
1091 b. . 420 
Clement (Alex.), Pro- 
trept, v. 65-68, 78 
i Strom, iii. 1 1 . 204 
Diodorus, i. 94 . 426 
ii. 31 . 402 
xvii. 105 . 192 

Herodotus, i. 131 


200, 413, 


i. 132 . 70, 


i. 199 


iii. 8 


iii. 16 . 44, 


iii. 31 


iii. 35 


iii. 61 


iii. 65 


iii. 67 . 


iii. 79 


iii. 93 . 


iii. 120 . 


iii. 126 



Herodotus iv. 71 f. 

Plato, Laws, p. 906a 

Sextus Empiricus, ad.. 

200, 398, 410 


Mathem., ix. 19 

vii. 35 . .215 

Phcedo, p. 113d- 

42 ( 

vii. 37 . - . 199 

114f. . . 176 

Sophocles, Oed. Tyran 

vii. 40 . .59 

Politicus, p. 269e, 270a 

nus, 387 . 42! 

vii. 43 . .58 


Strabo p. 512 100 

vii. 54 . 58, 21 6 f. 

[Plato] Alkibiades I., 


vii. 62 . 185, 228 

p. 121e, 122a 

p. 513 . . 19: 

vii. 113 . 216, 408 

208, 424 

p. 517 . . 195 

vii. 114 . 57, 128 

Plutarch, Isis and Osi 

p. 520 . . 19i 

vii. 117 . 203, 233 

ris, c. 46 f. 

p. 529 - - 23 

vii. 191 . 216 


p. 714 . . 19; 

Pausanias, v. 27 3 208, 

Qucest. Conv. iv. 5 2 400 

p. 724 . 86, 2331 


Porphyry, De Abstin- 

p. 732-5. 407-1 

ix. I 1 f - . . 272 

entia, iv. 1 6 . 411 

p. 732 f. . 100, 1QO,[ 

ix. 34 9 . . 272 

Vita Plotini, 16 29 f. 


Plato, Laws, p. 896e 

Vita Pythagorce, 41 

p. 735 . . 20-; 


67, 391 

p. 746 . 4091 

(6) Greek Inscriptions and Papyri 

Bulletin de Correspond 
ence Hellenique,\ii. 
129 428 

Sylloge Inscriptionum 
Grcecarum 2 (ed. 
W. Dittenberger), 
i. 1-4 37, 53 f. 

Censorinus, De Die 

Natali, 2, 3 . 266 
Cicero, De Legibus, n. 

x. 26 . . 391 
Curtius, Q., in., iii. 9, 

10 . . 320 
Hieronymus( Jerome), 

inAmosv.9,10 320 

Orientis Greed Incrip- 

tiones Selectee (ed. 

W. Dittenberger), 

ii. 593-617 37, 


(See Index III., s. vv. 

(c) Latin Authors 

Horace, Epistulce, n. ii. 

187-9 266 

Pliny, Nat. Hist., vii. 

15 . .91 

xxx. 6 216, 414, 

419, 424 

Tacitus, Annals, xi. 10 

Antiochus, Gad 

Oxyrhynchus Papyi 

(ed. Grenfell am 

Hunt), i. p. I06i 


Tacitus, Annals, xv. 24 

Vergil, Eclogues, iv 

60-63 . . 91 f 

ix. 53 . 40( 



N.B. (i) In pp. 344-418 only the notes are indexed, not the translated texts. 
(2) Iranian words in italics follow the transliteration described on p. xvii. Words 
in italics not otherwise marked are Avestan. (3) Technical Avestan or Pahlavi 
terms are normally to be sought under their originals, a translation following in 
each case. (4) The order is that of the English alphabet, the additional signs 
being put where their rough equivalents stand. Thus ? stands where e is, -^ where 
khv, etc. 

Aboriginal features of Magi, 1 93, 

225, 230. 
Acanthus, 203. 
Achaemenians : their religion, 

39-60, 203, 217, 239, 394, 

432-4 ; history of the dynasty, 

88 f., 231 f. See under Cyrus, 

Darius, Xerxes, etc. 
Achaians, 233. 

arista ahu (worst existence), 172. 
a. manah (worst thought), 172. 
Ayvinau (the Indian Dioscuri), 

Aqvinl (their sister), 115. 
add (Reward), 360, 380. 
Adarbaijan, 83. 
Adityas(Skt\ 98 f, 117, 240. 
Adonis, 191. 
aesma (violence, wrath), 1 30, 202, 

250-2, 337 f., 346 f., 350. 
Afrinakan,432. See Index II. i.(c). 
Aya$os Aat/xwi/, 255, 265. 
Agni (Skt), 70, 200. 
Agriculture, 85, 87, 147. 
Agriculturists and nomads, 72, 

85, 142, 156, 374, 379- 
Ahiqar, 248. 
Ahriman, 425. See Angra 


ahu (lord), 160, 347. 
Ahuna Vairya (Honover), 1 60 f. 

ahura (lord) : = Skt asura, an 
Aryan divine title, 31, 6l, 150 ; 
applied to personified attri 
butes of Deity, ix, 140, 
155, 169, 293, 35 If., 383; in 
cluding in Gathas other than 
Amshaspands, 97 (121), 241 ; 
not applied to Spanta Mainyu 
separately, 298 ; as a common 
noun, 347, 353, 374, 390; 
original of Asshur ? 3 1 f. 

Ahura Mazdah (Wise Lord) : still 
descriptive title in Gathas, 31, 
345 (see Ahura) ; forms of 
name, 422-4 ; " god of the 
Aryans," 32, 42, 60, 93, 119, 
184, 277, 301 ; conception 
older than Zarathushtra, ix, 
31 ; not elemental, 6l, 95 ; his 
attributes, 95 f. ; as ethical 
deity compared with Varuna, 
245 ; compared with Yahweh, 
288-95 ; Light and Truth, 67, 
292, 391 ; Spirit, 292 f. ; Wis 
dom, 290 f. ; Creator of good, 
95, 121 f. (see Da0vs) ; and of 
physical evil, 291 ; ex nihilo, 
291 f. ; Judge of all, 166 ; his 
"Holy Spirit," 134f., 299 f. 5 
the Amshaspands his attri- 




butes, 97, 293-8 ; as " Father " 
of ahuras, 113, 291, 298, 
417 ; in a triad with Asha and 
Vohumanah, 112, 298; rela 
tions with Amshaspands in 
Haptanghaiti, 122, 413; in 
Later A vesta, 98 f. ; Waters 
his "wives" in unreformed 
Aryan cultus, 122, 413 ; three 
Amshaspands represent his 
nature, three his gifts, 114, 
294; his Fravashi, 260, 262, 
275 ; pictures (of this ?), 414 ; 
relation to Zarvan akarana, 1 33 ; 
as " Twin of Angra Mainyu, 
1 32-7 ; relation to lesser divin 
ities, 300 f. ; Conception popu 
larised and adapted by Magi, 
322 ; Zevs Opo^uao-S^s in Com- 
magene, 106, 415. See Aura- 
mazda, Assara Plazas. 

aiplza&a (future birth), 378. 

airyaman (brotherhood ? Vedic 
aryaman), 117, 355, 381, 390. 

Airy ana Faejah, 86. 

akd (manifest), 383, 386- 

Aka Mainyu (Bad Spirit), 126, 
135 f., 138, 356. 

akanti (renewal ?), 378. 

Albiruni, 26 1. See Index II., 
ii. (d). 

Alburz. See Hard bardzaitl. 

AX^eia, 110, 345, 401. 

Alexander, 2, 11, 22, 77, 106, 
192, 320, 411, 431. 

Alkibiades I. ([Plato]), 77. See 
Index II. iii. (a). 

All Souls Day, 259- 

Almsgiving, 153, 289, 336. 

Al-Sirat s Arch, 165. 

Altars, 68. 

Amasis, 44, 215, 418. 

Amdrstat (Immortality), 100, 102, 
173 f., 219, 371,401, 407. See 
Haurvatat and Ameretat. 

Amasa Spsnta (Immortal Holy 
ones), 145. See Amshaspands. 

Amestris, 57, 128. 

amrti (Skt drink of immortal 
ity), ] 79. 

Amshaspands : first named col 
lectively in Haptanghaiti, ix, i 

96, 121, 241 ; their Aryan 
germs, 73 f., 98, 114, 121; 
alleged connexion with Baby 
lon, 74, 240 f. ; as ahuras, see 
ahura ; individual names and 
characteristics, 110-5,293-5; 
a part of divine hypostasis, ix, 

97, 293, 296-8 ; parallel ideas 
in Judaism and Christianity, 
293-8 ; alleged genesis in 
school of Philo, 10, 103; early 
non - Avestan evidence, 33, 
431-4 ; hardly known outside 
East in Achsemenian age, ix, 
32, 87 f., 104; number in 
creased to seven, 31, 99, 240 f, 
252, 339; parallels in Achae- 
menian Inscriptions, 50 f., 109 ; 
their order, 96, HOf. ; and 
relative importance, 97, 112; 
relation to other ahuras, 97, 
366 ; extent to which they are 
personified, 97, 382 ; their 
material provinces, 98, 105, 
109 ; stereotyped epithets in \ 
LAv., 99 f- ; images of, in 
Cappadocia, 100-2 ; antiquity 
shown by corruption of names, ; 
100; are they found in Com- 
magene ? 106-8; too esoteric 
to be popular till adapted by 
Magi, ix, 87 f., 108-10, 220, ; 
322 ; filial relation to Mazdah, 
113; sex-distinction, 113 f., 

1 22 ; represent the nature and 
gifts of God, 114, 294; in 
tended to supersede poly 
theistic divinities, 72, 114f. ; 
the most distinctive creation 
of Zarathushtra s thought, 87 ; 
Magian avrtre^voi, 220, 401, 
407 ; interrelations within the 



Hexad, 300 ; Plutarch s names 
for them, 401 ; in Cappadocian 
Calendar, 431-4. 

Anadatus, 101, 108. 

anayra raoca (lights without be 
ginning), 172. 

Anahita ( Avam9) : her name, 
238 f., 428 ; Semitic origin, 66, 
238 f., 394; epoch of intro 
duction, 22, 239f ; name mis 
taken in Herodotus, 66, 238, 
394 ; relations with Mithra, 
66, 238 f. ; in a triad with him 
and Auramazda, 32, 78, 239 5 
iconic form, 68, 78, 240 ; 
attributes, sacrifices, 58, 129; 
relations with Ishtar, 63 ; a 
river-genius, 66, 239 f- 5 associ 
ated with "Omanus," 100; 
replaces Apam Napdt, 1 05 ; 
and the twin Amshaspands, 
114f., 240, 27; and fravashis, 
271 f. ; significant absence in 
Commagene, 1 08 ; and in 
Cappadocian Calendar, 432 ; 
gives name to planet Venus, 
211, etc. 

anaparaQa (without atonement), 

Ancestor-spirits, 74, 150, 245, 
256, 262, 264 f., 270, 324. 
See Fravasi. 

Angel. See Amshaspands, Yazata, 

Angelology of Parsism and Juda 
ism, xii, 302 f., 323. 

Angels of communities, 274, 325. 

angra (enemy), 137, 368, 370. 

Angra Mainyu (Ahriman, 
Apet/xavtos) : meaning of name, 
1 36 ; occurrence in Old 
Persian, 49,, 136; single oc 
currence in Gathas, x, 135-7, 
370 ; made into a proper name 
by Magi, 136; his relations 
with Spanta Mainyu, 134 f . ; 
with Ahura Mazdah, 132-4; 

attributes in Magian system, 
220, 305, 403; an "ineffectual 
angel " of Darkness, 330 ; 
relations with Druj, O.P. 
Drauga, 49 ; absence from 
Achaemenian religious system, 
55 f. ; unknown to Herodotus, 
59 ; conceived as a deity 
dwelling underground, 95, 
128f. ; never propitiated in 
Parsism, 128; but received 
sacrifice from Magians, 1 27 ; 
and Mithraists, 129f., 406 ; 
represented by Hades in 
Greek, 129, 405 ; in the 
spiritual world answers to Azi 
Dahdka in corporeal, 147, 292 ; 
his ultimate destiny, 157, 403 ; 
epithet pouru-mahrka, 1 32, 1 77 ; 
represented by Nergal in 
Assyrian, 188; resemblances 
to the Satan, 30-6 ; was there 
connexion ? xii, 325 f. ; me 
chanical dualism of Magi, 201, 
211, 214; compared with 
Aeshma, 251 ; author of physi 
cal evil, 253 ; compared with 
Chinese Yin, 304; the millen 
nia of conflict, 403; shadows 
in his province, 405 ; forms of 
his name in O.P. and Greek, 
425 f., etc. 

Animals souls (or Fravashis) 
adored, 262. 

Animism, 202, 262. 

Annihilation of Evil, 157, 289, 

Ansan, 45, 89. 

Anthesteria, 263. 

Anthropomorphism, 96, 113. 

Antiochus of Commagene, 37, 
106, 119, 285, 320, 414, 427. 

Anti-Parsic polemic alleged, in 
ii Isaiah, 221 ; in Tobit, 249, 

Antiquity of Gathas, etc. See 




dvrtrexvot, 51, 133, 211, 220, 401, 

407, 417, 436. 
Antitheses of Magianism, 178, 

201, 219f., 290, 401 f. ; com 

pared with one in Judaism, 
A 292 ; and in Paul, 293. 

"nnaki (Assyr.), 31, 422. 

name), 203, 394, 

. ana na 

dp (water), 433. 

f the Waters), 

Apaosa, 26, 210, 281, 417. 
Apocalyptic, xii, 154 f., 214, 28&, 

326-8, 404. 
Apollo, 53 f., 107, 199- 
Apotheosis of Zarathushtra, 22, 

49, 78, 142, 302. 
Arabs, 394. 

Arachosia. See Hara-^aitl. 
Aramaic, 400. 
Aramaiti (Piety, Devotion), 10, 

74, 97-100, 104 f., 1 12, 1 14 f., 

118, 145, 163, 280, 290 f., 

294, 350, 352 f., 360, 366, 

377 f., 382, 393, 401, 413, 433. 

See Amshaspands. 
Archilochus, 27. 
Arda Viraf, 180, 315. 
Ardashir, 11, 30. 
Ardvl Surd, 238 f. 
Apciyuavios, 76, 406, 420, 425. 

See Angra Mainyu. 
Ares, 107. 
ari (Indo - Iranian = excellent), 


Ariani, 86, 233. 
"Apioi, 185,228. 
Aristobulus, 192. 
Aristotle, 77, 208, 405, 410, 415, 

418, 420 f., 425. See Index 

II., iii. (a). 

ariya (O.P.), 184, 229. See an/a. 
Apiawot, 60, 93, 183f., 187, 

229 f., 232, 277, 429. 

Arjat aspa, 374 

Armenian, 435. 

Arrian, 320. 

Arsacides, 28 f., 21 6, 227, 233, 
318, 416, 435. 

arstd (uprightness), 51. 

Artachaees, 203, 233. 

Artaxerxes (Arta)(sa6 r d), etymol 
ogy of, 109. See Longimanus, 
Mnemon, Ochus. 

Artisans, 117. 

dry a (Skt ; Av. airy a, O.P. ariya ; 
noble), 4, 75, 93, 1 84, 228. See 
"God of the Aryans," under 
Ahura Mazddh. 

aryaman (Vedic, see airyaman), 
117, 355. 

y a n, historical meaning of, 4 f., 
32, Ocv, j75j 93^ 183 f., 229. 

woi -Hg and concepts de 
rived from Aryan period> iXj 

4-7, 10, 14, *-. f 26, 32, 45, 
6l,70f 73 f., 9,8 f j 10, 112, 
114, 116-8, 120 f.,. Jag, 138 f... 
143,165,181,187, ^ Q1 3 19 6 
212-4, 216 f., 221, 22e 8f 231 
5, 245, 314, 333, 39- 3 " 402 
423, 435, etc. 

Asa (Right, Truth), 5 

96 f., 99, 102, 104-14, ! 21 
131, 134, 140, 146, 151, U 
159, 161, 166, 171 f., 174, 
256, 261, 264, 275, 293, 2 98 
344, 347, 379, 390, 401, 4, 03 
See Amshaspands. 

asavan (righteous), 146, 160. | 

Asi (Destiny), 114, 169, 352, 360) 
363, 379, 390. 

Asiatic origin of Indo-Europeans, 

250 f. See Aesma. 
asnqm u^san (? see note), 373, 

Assara Mazds (Assyr.), 31 f., 98, 

241, 243, 252, 422-4. See 

Ahura Mazddh. 



Asshur, 32. 

Assyrian borrowing from Iran, 
31 f., 48. 

language, 42, 230, 423, 428, 

430. See Babylonian. 

ast (bone), 163, 179- 

astodan (ossuaries), 334. 

Astral Mythology, 236 f. 

Astrology, xi, 87, 201, 209-11, 
237, 281, 283. 

Astronomical data, 23 f., 26, 

Ao-TpoflvTT??, 77, 201, 415, 426. 

astvant (corporeal), and mainyava 
(spiritual), antithesis of, 147, 
168, 291. 

Astvat-drata, 159. 

Astyages, 187, 197, 232. 

Asura (Aryan or Indian), 6l, 150. 

Atar(ire), 70, 97, 104, l?2f., 
224, 302, 408, 433. See Fire. 

Athanasian Creed, 297. 

Atharva Veda, 352. 

Athena, 113. 

dOravan, aOaurvan (Skt dtharvan), 
76, 116-8, 194, 354, 359, 385. 

Atonement, 152. 

Atossa, 43. See Hutaosd. 

atrium (Lat.), 70, 302. 

Attributes of God, 95 f. See 

Auramazda, 32, 48, 50 f., 59 f., 
78, 184, 195, 422, 433. See 
Ahura Mazddh. 

Aurvat-aspa (Lohrasp), 102, 427. 

avanhana (consummation), 359- 

Avesta : discovery of, 8, 36 ; 
name, 8, 41 1 ; matter preserved 
in Pahlavi Books, 34 ; antiquity 
of, see Date ; destruction in 
Alexander s invasion, 1 1 ; pros 
ody of, 1 3 f. ; influence on the 
West, 227 f. ; contrast of cultus 
with the Achsemenian, 32 ; 
word of its dialect found early 
in Cappadocia, 434. See Gatha, 
Later Avesta. 

dyadand (O.P., sanctuaries), 52, 

195f., 391. 
ayah -^susta (molten metal), 98, 

157f., 242,302,312,328,350, 

356, 361, 385, 403. 
azi (serpent), 1 30. 
Ali Dahdka (Zohak}, 70, 147, 245, 

307, 326, 333, 338. 

Baalim, 307. 

Babylon, 42, 245, 319 f. See 

Assyrian and Babylonian. 
Babylonian: gods, 41, 63, 199, 

210, 213; language, 42, 52 f., 

55 ; influence alleged on Iran, 

xi, 65 f, 86 f, 98 f., 237-43; 

on primitive Aryan, 65, 74, 

244 f. ; on Magian religion, 99, 

188, 21 2 f., 220, 236 ff., 394, 

403, 405 f. 
Bactria, ix, 24, 46, 83 f., 90, 

192, 234, 304. 
Badagas, 193. 
Baga (O.P., deity), 51 f., 239, 

300, 339, 352, 432. 
Balkh, 89. 
Bantu, 222-5. 
baodah (consciousness), 179, 257, 


Bardaisan, 315. 
Bardiya, 194f. 
barasman (barsom), vi, 68, 1 90, 1 98, 

408 f. 
barhis-barazis (grass carpet), 68, 

198, 394, 408. 
Basil, 33. 

/JacrtA^ioi, 6fOL, 108, 274. 
Basilides, 292, 320. 
Barvri (see Babylon), 245. 
Behistan Inscriptions, 21, 34 f., 

51 f, 55, 68, 73, 131, 185, 

194-6, 229 f, 269, 431 f., al. 

See Index II. i. (e). 
Bel, 119- 

Bdndva, 354, 380, 383. 
Berosus, 77 f., 133, 239 f., 242 f. 



"Bilateral symmetry" of Magi- 

anism, 126. 
Bird-form of Fravashis, 260 ; of 

the " Glory," 276. 
Birds : of good or evil creation, 

253, 398, 400; corpse-eating, 

Birth, Fravashis promoting, 266, 


Birth of Saoshyant, 1 59 f. 
"Birthday of the Sun," 181. 
Blood-shedding, 408 f. 
Body, resurrection of, 163 f., 350. 
Boghaz-keui, 5-7, 26, 115, 139, 

235, 423. 

Books, Magi said to have no, 33. 
Boundless Time. See Zarvan. 
brahman (Skt, Prayer), 417. 
Brahmans, 194. 
Branch to the nose, 1 89. 
Bridge. See Cinvat parytu. 
Brotherhood, 117. 
Buddhism, 28 f., 115, 130. 
buiti (demon), 130. 
Bull-slayer (Mithra), 72, 129. 
buna (see note), 389. 
Bundahish, 26 f., 89, 130, 213, 

251, 272, 305, 310, 326-8, 395, 

416, 432-7. See Index II. 

i. (d). 

Bunyoro, 222, 225. 
Burial, 163, 193, 202, 217, 249, 


Burning dead, 193, 217. 
Burying alive, 57, 128 f., 215. 
Bmyasta (Sloth), 153. 
Byron, 165. 

Calendar: Cappadocian,33,103 f., 
108, 430-7; Persian, 48, 50, 
105, 431 f. 

Cambyses, 43-5, 53, 186, 194f., 
204, 207, 215-7, 231, 247, 418. 

Camel, 82, 409. 

Cancer (Zodiac), 27, 436 f. 

Canon, 289- 

Canton, William, 255. 

Cappadocia, 68, 100, 105f., 119, 

138, 368, 401, 431. See 

Caspii, 192. 
Castes, 117, 183, 388. 
Qatapatha Brahmana, 313. 
Cattle and Vohumanah, 101, 105, 

109, 348, 353, 377. 
Cedrenus, 41 6. 
Cephisodorus, implication of 

name, 272. 
Chaldaeans, 63, 187, 210, 304. 

319, 431. 

Charioteers (caste), 118. 
Chess, 401 f. 
Chinese religion, 303. 
Choice, 134, 137. 
Chorasmia (X v airizani), 86. 
Christmas, date of, 181. 
Chronology. See Date. 
Chrysostom, 283 f. 
Chthonian cultus, 57, 95, 128f., 

Cinvant, cinvat paretu (Separater 

Bridge of S.), 143, 158, 164-7. 

169 f., 289, 311, 333, 361. 
Cisti, 397. See Wisdom. 
Cithrafarnah (Tio-o-a^epi/i/s), 277. 
Cities of Refuge, 111. 
Clan gods, 51, 53, 93, 108, 274. 
Classical evidence, 36, 39, 183, 

202, 205, 207. See Index II.. 


Cleansing Vohumanah, 101. 
Clearchus of Soli, 418. 
Cleitarchus, 77. 
floka (Skt, metre), 13. 
Cock, 219. 
Co-eternity of good and evil, 

Coincidence of unrelated words 

Commagene, 60, 106f. Set 

Communities, Fravashis of, 266 

Comparative method, 7 f., 39. 



Conflict of Mazda- and Daeva- 

worship, 141 ; of Ahura and 

Angra, 403 f. 
Consanguineous marriage. See 


Consummation. See yah. 
Contracts. See midra. 
Corporeal and spiritual, 147, 168, 

291, 346, 414. See Dualism. 
Corpse-bearer, 193, 333. 
Corpse-cake, 334. 
Corpse-fiend, 333. 
Corpses: pollution of, 164, 178, 

215, 411; dogs and birds 

devouring, see Dakhma and 


Cosmic Egg, 402 f. 
Counter-reformation, ix f., 119 f, 

182, 202. 
Cousins, marriage of, 249 f. 
Cow, pregnant, 367, 382, 385. 
Creation ex nihilo, 291. 
reator, 52, 95, 121 f., 125 f., 291, 

reed, Parsi, 289. 

TO3SUS, 418. 

ruelty to (Ahuryan) animals, 


tesias, 72, 186, 232, 427. 
uneiform writing, 35. 
urtius, Quintus, 319 f. See 

Index II., iii. (c). 
yaxares, 232. 
ylinder inscription of Cyrus, 

41 f., 45, 53, 231. 
Hyropcedia, 42. 

^yrus the Great, 27, 40 f., 45, 
53, 88 f., 210, 230-2, 247, 418. 
/yrus the Younger, 41. 

)atna (Self), xii, l62f, 171, 
179, 263-5, 278, 310, 353, 368. 

)aena (Religion), 265, 368, 432. 
a (demon) : relation to 
Indian deva, 140, 150, 213; 
and Ind.-Eur. *deivos (Ger., 
Lith., Lat., etc.), 138, 150; 

cause of the degradation of 
name, 141 f., 150, 307; gods 
of nomad cattle-raiders, 138, 
350 ; Gathic doctrine of their 
Fall, x, 137 f., 307, 350 ; Mithra 
as their chief, 140 f, 149; De 
ceivers of primeval man, 148 f., 

daevayasna (Daeva-worship), 72, 
83,95, 118, 129, 141 f., 156. 

daevo-zusta (pleasing to Daevas), 

dahyu (province), 389. 

*daivas (Aryan and early Iranian, 
see daeva), 60, 122, 150, 247. 

Dakhma ("tower of silence"): 
Magian custom, xi, 203 f. ; 
purpose, 215 ; parallels in 
other tribes, ancient, 192f. ; 
and modern, 223 f. ; contrasted 
with Zarathushtra s teaching, 
164; and Persian usage, 163, 
202 f., 398; Greek view of, 
223, 414 ; modern view, 205 ; 
rules affecting, 202 f., 333 ; lies 
behind the Tobit story, 203, 
249 f- 5 function of the " dog s 
glance," see Sag-did. 

Damddt Nask, 327. 

Daniel, 274, 325. 

dardga (long) = eternal, 174, 359, 

Darius I., viii, 27 f, 37, 40 f., 
44-56, 131, 136, 187, 194-6, 
260, 427, 431-3, al. 

Dai-ius II., 56. 

Darkness : created by Mazdah, 
95, 291 ; characteristic of hell, 

Dastur, 374. 

Date : of Ind.-Eur. separation, 
5 ; of Aryan period, 6 f. ; of 
hypothetic Germanic migra 
tion S.E., 26 ; of Gathas and 
Zarathushtra, viii, 8-22, 87, 
103 f., 412 ; of Yashts, viii, 22, 
78, 240; of Vendidad, etc., 



viii, 198, 204-; of Bundahish, 
26 f. ; of Zoi oastrianism in 
Persia, 75f., 90; of Persian 
Calendar, 103, 431-3; (pre 
dicted) of Saoshyant, 310. 

DaOus (Creator), 95, 104, 434. 

David, 54. 

Dead language : alleged com 
position of Gathas in, 12, 102 ; 
Sassanian interpolations in, 34. 

Deinon, 68, 77, 189, 208, 415, 

Deioces, 231 f., 269. 

*Deivos (Ind. - Eur., heavenly 
ones), ix, 74, 138, 150, 225. 
See *Daivas. 

delubrum (Lat.), 408. 

Democritus, 420. 

Demonology, Parsi- Jewish, 325 f. 

dSng-paiti (house-lord), 372. 

DEO ARIMANIO, 128, 399, 406. 

Destiny of Evil, 125. 

devdjusta (Skt, pleasing to deva), 

Differences, more significant than 
resemblances, 307. 

Differentiation within Godhead, 

Dimavend, Mt, 338. 

Din Mazdayasnis, 119. 

Dinkart, xiv, 257, 275. See 
Index II., i. (d). 

Diogenes Laertius, 77, 114, 410- 

Dioscuri, 115. 

Dius Fidius, 63 f., 140. 

Divination, 189f., 196, 199, 225, 
414, 421. 

*Diyaus (O.P., Zev s), ix, 43, 60 f., 
391 f. 

Doctrine of Evil, 125-53, 303- 
12; of God, 93-97, 290-302; 
of Immortality and Retribu 
tion, 154-81. 

Dog-days, 210. 

Dogs, 192, 202, 250, 253. See 

Double (Doppelganger\ 92, 108, 
248, 254 f, 264, 26b, 324. 

Douris, 72. 

Drangiana, 90. 

drauga (O.P., Lie), 49, 131, 136, 
359, 425. 

Dreams. See Oneiromancy. 

Dngvant (liar, heretic), 131, 134, 
146, 344, 347, 356. 

dron. See Corpse-cake. 

Drought, 51, 210. 

druh (Skt, fiend), 131, 425. 

Druids, 33. 

Dnij (the Lie) x, 49, 51, llOf., 
126, 131, 134, 136, 138, 156, 
160, 201, 304, 336, 351, 389, 
425 f. 

drujo-nmdna (House of the Lie, 
hell), 157, 172. 

Drunkenness, 71 f., 140, 396. 

Dualism : definition of, 125 ; how 
far attributable to Zarathush- 
tra, 126, 155; to the Magi, 
201, 220 f., 322, 420; Baby 
lonian and other dualisms, 
220 ; attributed by Bousset to 
Parsism and Judaism, 288 ; in 
Plutarch s account, 406; Alter 
native dualism of Corporeal 
and Spiritual, 147, 292, 364. 

Dughdova, 82. 

Duodecimal numeral system, 244, 

duraosa (averter of Death), 71, 

Duration of future rewards and 
punishment, 1 73 f. 

dusiydrd (O.P.), duzydirya (Av. = 
Drought), 51, 130. 

duzdanho (unintelligent), 137. 

Dvandva duals, 6l, 114, 352, 

*Dytus (Ind.-Eur., Sky), 138, 

Earth, 10, 57, 121, l63f, 203, 
215, 217, 291, 350, 378, 393 ; fl/. 
See Aramaiti. 



Eastern Iran as home of Gathas, 

89, 110, 131, 246. 
Eastwai d position in cultus, 


Eclipse, solar, 199. 
Ego. See daena. 
Egyptian influence, 68, 243, 396, 


ehi (Negro = soul), 268. 
EKTrv pwcns, 242, 303. 
Elam, 44, 230-3, 238. 
Elamite. See Susian. 
Elemental character of Mazdah, 

61, 9-5 ; of Mithra, 62 ; of 

Varuna, 64, 95 ; of Magian 

worship, 413; provinces of 

Amshaspands, 98, 109. 
Elephantine papyri, 55, 73. 
Elisha, 54. 

Empedocles, 404, 414. 
Endogamy, 223. 
Enoch, Book of, 327 f. 
Ephorus, 411. 
Equality of merits and demerits. 

See Hamistakdn. 
Ereksha, 436. 
Eschatology : of Zarathushtra, 

154-181, 308-14, 405; of the 

Magi, 177 f., 252 f., 405. 
Esoteric note of Gathas, 60, 87, 

108, 110, 118, 322 f. 
Eternal punishment, 1 57 f., 1 73 f., 

312; reward, 174. 
Ethical side of Mithra, 63 f., 

1 39 ; and elemental deities, 

244 f. 
Ethnology of Aryans, 5, 26, 

232 f. ; of Scyths, 200 ; of 

Magi, 213 f., 225, 228, 235; 

of Media, 229-35. 
Etymology of ZaraOustra, 81, 

426 ; of other Gathic names, 

82; of Magu, 183, 429; of 

jravasi, 268 f. 
Eudemus, 417. 

evboKta and Vohumanah, 294. 
Eudoxus, 415, 424. 

fv\d/3ei.a and Aramaiti, 294. 
evvoia translating vohumanah, 111, 

evvopta translating ^sa6ra, 111, 

Evil, ignored in Haptanghaiti, 

122. See Angra, Druj, etc. 
Expiation, 152. 
External Soul, xi, 224, 267, 276, 

Ezekiel, 189f., 303. See Index 

II, ii. (a). 
Eznik, 33, 133. 
Ezra, 41, 43. 

Fall of the angels, 307, 350. 

Fall-story, Iranian, x, 74, 137, 
148-50, 307. 

Falsehood. See Druj. 
farnah (O.P.^ardnah, q.v.\ 
275, 277. 

Farvardigan, 257, 263. 

Fate, 133. 

Feast of the Dead, 258, 261-3. 

Ferghana, 85. 

Fides. 64. 

Firdausi, 35, 89, 149f., 339. 

Fire : as messenger to the gods, 
68, 394 ; Iranian and Indian 
connotations, 69 f ; profaned 
by Cambyses, 44, 215, 418; 
and Cyrus, 418; depai-tment 
of Asha, 1 09 ; as an Ahura, 
97, 121, 393; "son" of 
Mazdah, 97 ; offended by 
Keresaspa, 176; Magian cult 
of, 200 ; end of world by, 242, 
303 ; Yahweh s arid Ahura s 
compared, 302 f. ; name of a 
month, 432. 

Firmament, 66. 

First man, 148. 

Five divisions of human person 
ality, 256 f. 

Fixed epithets of Amshaspands, 
99 f. 

Fomalhaut, 23 f., 281. 



Food: of heaven, 179, 311; of 
hell, 172, 180, 312, 354, 382. 

"Founded" religions, 3, 299- 

Four world-ages, 243, 403 f. 

Four-eyed dog, 333. 

Fourteen, 128. 

fraesta (?), 381. 

Frangrasyan (Afrasiab), 276, 

Frankincense and myrrh, 285, 

Frashaoshtra, 81 f., 346, 426, al. 

Frasfrkarati (Renovation), 158, 
163, 310, 350, 363, 365, 369. 

Fravasi, xi f., 254-285 ; sculp 
tured at Behistan ? 68 ; and 
on monument of Antiochus ? 
106; animistic side of con 
ception, 98 ; worshipped in 
Commagene, 108 ; disowned 
by Zarathushtra, 1 62 ; a 
parallel in Uganda, 224 ; use 
in the folk-story behind Tobit, 
248 ; guarding seed of Zara 
thushtra, 310 ; compared with 
"angels," 324 f.; compared 
with Gdus urvan, 346; explain 
ing names Zamolxis and 
Diaixis, 392 ; existing in first 
world-age, 403 ; known to 
Democritus ? 420 ; name first 
month, 432. 

"Fruit of the vine," 179, 311. 

Fryana, 197, 374. 
fszratu (Reward), 360. 

Funeral customs, 163, 193, 200, 
202, 249. See Dakhma. 

Gadatas, 37, 53 f. 
gaedd (p_eople), 163, 365. 
Gdhdnbdrs (six chief feasts), 258. 
ganj (Pahl., treasury), 162, 382. 
gaomaeza, gomez (urine of cattle), 

221-3, 334. 

Gaotema (? = Gautama), 28, 115. 
Garo damdna (nmdna) (Paradise), 

144, 170, 328, 402. 

Gatha days, 257. 

Gathas : age of, 8-22 (see Date) ; 
compared with Behistan In 
scription, 48 ; use under later 
priests, 153, 218; contrasted 
with Vendidad, 222. See Zara 

Gathic dialect : dead by A.D., 13; 
accurate preservation, 15; re 
lation to Vedic, 19 ; adaptation 
of names to Old Persian, 77, 
422 f; perhaps spoken in what 
is now Saistan, 89 ; in a country 
removed from that of Later 
Avesta, 90 ; two- word titles 
fused in O.P., Cappadocian, 
and Indo-Scythian, 109f.; em 
ployed in Haptanghaiti, 120; 
not spoken in Achaemenian 
Media, 230; etc. 

Gaumata, x, 44, 52 f, 186, 194- 
7, 231, 395, al. 

gay a (life), 163, 308. 
| Genesis and the Gathas, 130, 
307 f. 

Genius and iuno, xii, 255, 265 f. 

German migration, 5, 26, 85. 

Germanic myths, 71, 165, 262. 

Gaus tasan (Ox-Creator), 97, 121, 
303, 347, 374, 377, 385. 

Gsus urvan (Ox-Soul), 97, 121, 
303, 346 f. 

Gnostics, 30, 213. 

Godhdr (Ox-Seed), 213, 326. 

God, Zarathushtra s doctrine of. 
See Doctrine. 

"God of Aryans." See Ahura 

" God of heaven," 43. 

Goethe, 255. 

yorjTiKrj, 415, 428. 

Gothic, 429. 

Grammar in LAv., 34. 

Grass carpet. See barhis. 

"Grateful dead," 248, 339. 

Great Bear, 23 f., 278, 281. 

Great Bundahish, 209,256 f.,405f. 



Greece and Babylon, 236. 

Greek and Persian dualism, 148. 

Greek: influence alleged, 167, 
414 ; knowledge of Magi, 123 ; 
philosophy in contact with 
Magianism, 404, 419 ; religion, 
245 ; rendering of Amesha 
names, 111, 401. 

Grehma, 354-7, 380, 383, 385. 

Guardian angel, xii, 255, 266- 

70, 278. 

Guide over Bridge, 167. 

Hades- Ahriman, 77, 127f, 132, 

399, 405. 

Hadhokht Nask, 163. 
Haecataspa, 375, 388. 
Haetumant (Saistan), 209- 
haina(O.P., horde), 51. 
Hair and nails, 1 52. 
Ha-^dmanis, 109. 
ha x t (?), 389. 
HamaspaQmaedaya, 257. 
Hamistakan, 141, 162, 170, 175- 

7, 311, 358, 378. 
Hamiin, Lake, 84. 
Hand, Pointing of, 169, 36 1. 
Haoma : Aryan antiquity, 71, 

180; ignored by Herodotus, 

71, 394; original character, 
71 ; attitude of Zarathushtra to, 
x, 71, 357, 379; as a Daeva 
of intoxication, 71 f. ; epithet 
ditraosa, 71 f., 358 ; association 
with Mithra, 72 ; patron of 
nomad cattle - raiders, 72 ; 
change in post-Gathic period, 
72 f. ; appears in Haptanghaiti, 
121 ; in Magian libations to 
Ahriman, 128, 400; in myth 
of Zarathushtra s birth, 275 ; 
as Omomi in Plutarch, 400 ; 
H. Mazdaddta, 417; significant 
absence from Daxius s Calen 
dar, 432. 

Haptanghaiti, Gatha : prose, but 
Gathic dialect, 20 ; relative 

antiquity, 20 f., 120; repre 
sents pre-reformation Iranian, 
55, 120f., 393; closest to 
Veda, 89, 413; virtually 
ignores Zarathushtra, 21, 49, 
120; suggests propaganda 
"from far," 88, Il6f. ; first 
names Amshaspands collect 
ively, 96, 98, 121 ; still keeps 
Asha first, 1 10, 121 ; compared 
with standpoint of Behistan, 
121 f. ; ignores the doctrine of 
Evil, 122 ; makes Amesha sons 
and daughters of Ahura, 122 ; 
has worship of Fravashis, 264 ; 
an illusory parallel for Ys 5 1 17 , 
387 ; names Aramaiti once, 
Haurvatat and Ameretat never, 

Hapto iringa. See Great Bear. 

Hard barazaitl, 165, 214. 

Haraiva, 228. 

Hara-^aitl (Arachosia), 24, 203. 

Harri, 5. 

Haumadata, Haumavarka, 73. 

Haurvatat, 51, 295. See below. 

Haurvatat and Ameretat, 74, 97, 
104, 113-5, 155, 240, 257, 
271, 294, 360, 363, 385, 401, 
433. See Amshaspands. 

hdvana (pestle), 400. 

"He that knows" (vidus), 118, 
352, 378. 

Heart, liver and gall, 338 f. 

Hearth fire, 70, 302. 

Heaven and Earth, 74, 95. 

Heaven the "garment" of Maz- 
dah, 61, 280. 

Heavenly Ones. See *Deivos. 

Hecataeus, 417. 

Hedgehog, 219, 400. 

Helen, 115. 

Heliacal rising of Sirius, 25, 27, 

Hell, 172-4, at. See Eternal, 
Drujo-nmdna, Retribution. 

Heptad. See Six. 



Heracles, 107. 

Heraclitus, 420. 

Hermes, 107. 

Hermippus, 33, 413, 415, 424. 

Hermodorus, 411, 415, 427. 

Herodotus, ix, 36 f., 46, 59 f., 73, 

75 f., 195-7, 232, 427 f. See 

Index II., iii. (a). 
Heroes, 108. 
Hesychius, 392, 410. 
Hexad. See Six. 
Hillel, 336. 
Hipparchus, 237. 
hirpus and hircus, 219. 
Historical reality of Zarathushtra, 

8f, 80 f. 
Hittites, 6. 

Holiness, Parsi and Jewish, 299. 
Holy Spirit. See Spanta Mainyu. 
Homer, 219, 232. 
Honover (Ahuna Vairya), l60f., 


hotar (Skt, = Av. zaotar), 11 6. 
Houris, l65f. 
House : of Song, see Garo - 

nmana ; of the Lie, see Dritjo-- 


hud&nho (understanding), 137. 
huiti (artisan), 117. 
humata, huyta, hvarsta. See 


humarati (euayye Aiov), 353. 
htmsl (Goth.), 145. 
hunu (son, of Ahriman s creation), 


Husbandmen (caste), 117. 
Hutaosa, 43, 47, 88, 206. 
Huvishka, 13, 102. 
Hvogva, 82, 375. 
Hvovi, 82, 92, 387. 
Hypostases, 289. 
Hystaspes. See Vishtaspa. 

Ideas, Platonic, 401. 

Igigi (Assyr.), 31, 98, 241, 252, 

Ignis, 70. 

Ignorance, attribute of Ahriman, 
290, 305, 403. 

Images, 67, 78, 100 f., 240, 391, 
396, 409, 413. 

Immorality, ritual, 72. 

Immortality, 71 f., 149, 227, 
252 f., 322, 329, 407. See 

Incarnation, 297 ; of Fravashis, 

Incest. See Khvetuk-das. 

Independence of Angra, 125f. 

India : and Boghaz-keui, 6 ; the 
Tir Yasht, 25 ; as a home of 
asceticism, 1 46 ; shows Aryan 
features less than Iran does, 69. 

Indo-European, 4 f., 74, 158, 165, 
179, 193, 244, 262, 265. 

Indo-Scythian coins, 37, 100, 
102, 435. See Kanishka. 

Indra, 6, 115, 139, 244, 427. 

Industry, 153. 

Infinite number, 281, 310. 

Intercalary days, 257, 262 f., 431. 

Intoxicant, 71 f., 358. 

Iran: the name, 4; modern name 
of Persia, 58 ; ethnography, 5, 
28, 45, 200, 235 ; primitive re 
ligion and folk-lore, 69, 130, 
148 f., 183, 198, 239, 247, 265, 
307 ; language characteristics, 
6, 26, 235, 423 ; geography and 
climate, 25 ; contrast of East 
and West, 33. 

Ishatvastra, 82, 388. 

Ishtar, 212, 239, 393 f. 

Ishtar-Siduri, 113. 

Islam borrowing from Iran, 165. 

Israel. See Judaism. 

Israel, Northern, 247, 318. 

Isti (acquisition ?), 372. 

iuno (genius of women), 266. 

luppiter, 63, 392, 424. 

Izd (?), 382. 

Jamaspa, 82, 166, 375, 381, 426. 
jaiara (?), 379. 



Job, Book of, 305. 

Judaism : alleged influence on 
Zoroastrianism, 11, 298, 315, 
317, 404 f. ; compared in detail 
with religion of Gathas, 286- 
312 ; and later Parsism, 312-6; 
alleged borrowing from Far- 
sism : views of Bousset, 288 f., 
319-21 ; Clemen, 214, 318, 
327 f. ; Boklen, 3 ; not favoured 
by Iranian specialists, 317; 
time and place of contact, 318- 
21 ; nature of Parsism when 
in contact, 322 f. ; angelology, 
323 f. ; fravashi, 324 f. ; demon- 
ology, 306, 325 f. ; apocalyptic, 
303, 326-31, 392 f.; immor 
tality, 329 ; general considera 
tions, 308, 317, 329-31 ; virgin 
birth, 310 ; Zarathushtra s own 
teaching practically excluded, 
321 ; assertion reported by 
Diogenes, 418. 

Judge : Zarathushtra, 1 1 8, 168 f. ; 
Ahura, 166-9. 

Judgement, 166-70, 242. See 

Jupiter (planet), 211, 213. 

Ka, 254. 

Kanishka, 13, 102, 427. 

Kara (mythological Fish), 211. 

Karapanj 140, 174, 357, 379- 

Karduchi (Kurds), 235. 

Kartivar (seventh of earth), 42, 
138, 276. 

Kqsaoya, Lake, 89, 123, 278, 310. 

Kassite, 422 f. 

Kavi, 83, 174, 357, 375. 

Kayanians, 56, 89. 

Kakrp (body), 163. 

Keresaspa, 176, 278, 406. 

Khorassan, 85, 234. 

Khshathra (Vairya), 13, 50, 74, 
97-100, 104 f., 111-14, 155 f., 
168, 294, 300, 344, 355, 401, 
433, al. See Amshaspands. 

iya (O.P., King), 41, 45 f., 
, 89. 

one like you), 359, 36l, 

367, 374,381. 
Xaetu (clan), 117, 355, 373, 379, 

381, 388. 

X v afna (in vision), 132, 210, 349. 
X l ar9nah (Glory), xii, 149, 275-7, 

283 f., 307. 
X v a@ra (bliss), 364. 
Khvetuk-das ()aetvada6a, next- 

of-kin marriage), xi, 205 f., 

223, 249, 322, 371, 413 f. 
Kingdom. See Khshathra. 
" Kingly Glory." See ^ v arawaA. 
Killing Ahriman s creatures, 322, 

330, 400. 
Kipling, 181. 

Kleinjahr. See Intercalary days. 
Koitapu, 194. 

Kurds, 138. See Karduchi. 
Kurumba, 193. 
Kutu, 53. 

Laertius, 410. 

Languages of Behistan, 185, 
229 f. 

Later Avesta : dialect, 1 3, 90, 1 70, 
230, 434 ; geographical separa 
tion from Gathas, 90 ; differ 
ences of Yashts (etc.) and 
Vendidad, 183; religion of, 
104, Il6f., 120, 149, 163, 172, 
180, 182, 243, 251, 26l, 265, 
293; metre of, 13-15. 

Laughing at birth, 91 f. 

Legends of Zarathushtra, 19, 91. 

Legislation, Moses and Zara 
thushtra s, 301. 

Leprosy, 397. 

Liar. See Drsgvant. 

Libations, 71, 73, 129. 

Lie : comprehensive term for 
Evil, 50, 142; for rebellion, 
50, 131 ; O.P. and Babylonian 
versions, 55. See Druj. 

Life, present and future, 346. 



Light, 64. 

Limbo, 174-7. 

Limitation of Mazdah s sovranty, 

Living, fravashis of the, 256, 259, 


Logos, 10, 111, 298. 
Loki and Thor, 71. 
Longimanus, Artaxerxes I., 56, 

68, 207, 412, 426, 429. 

maeOa (?), 360. 

maez (?), 370. 

maga (?), 348 f., 375, 386. 

magavan (?), 359, 386. 

/iayeta, 208, 415, 428. 

Magi : xf., 182-253; their name, 
428-30 ; had sacred books, 33 ; 
their variance from Zarathush- 
tra, 39, 89 f., 105, 139f., 291, 
350, 367, 413 ; their apotheosis 
of him, 48, 412 ; and claim 
that he was a Magus, 118, 323, 
410; burial attributed to, 57, 
129; and nocturnal sacrifice, 
58 ; their guardianship of 
Avesta, 72, 79, 123; Hero 
dotus knowledge of, 76, 1 1 6, 
398 ; their traces in Tobit, 99, 
332 ff., 416; Artaxerxes II. 
their patron, 104 ; treatment 
of Amshaspands, 105, 113,407; 
and fravashis, 324 ; sole trans 
mitters of the Religion to the 
West, 123, 322 f.; their dual 
ism, 126, 322, 401 f., 420 ; non- 
Avestan traits in Plutarch, 
etc., 127 f., 130, 406; alien 
from Iranians, 403, 407, 418 ; 
their syncretism, 128 ; divina 
tion, 421; star-lore, 436 f.; 
selected title Angra Mainyu, 
1 36 ; their ritual and ethics, 
152f. ; the dakhma and khve- 
tuk-das, q.v. ; attitude to im 
mortality, 177 f., 329, 405,407, 
41 6; their antitheses, q.v. ; 

compared with Scribes, 289 ; 
at Babylon, 319, 430 ; general 
estimate, 330 ; legendary suc 
cession after Zoroaster, 41 Of. ; 
Diogenes account, 4 1 0-42 1 , al. 

Magic, xi, 160, 208 f., 249, 415, 

Mayo<ovia, 76, 186f. 

Magu (O.P., Magus), 428-30. 

Maidyoimaongha, 82, 387. 

Mainyu (spirit). See Spenta and 

manah (thought), 349, 362. 

Mandaism, 213. 

Manes, xi, 257. 

Mani, Manichaeans, 30, 234, 403. 

manOra (utterance), 1 60, 2 1 8, 345, 
348, 352. 

Manthravaka, 278. 

Marduk, 41 f., 212. 

Marlowe, 171. 

Marriage, Zarathushtra s view of, 

Mars (planet), 107, 211. 

Massagetae, 192. 

Masudi, 209. 

Mazana, Mazindaran, 338. 

Mazdadata, 417. 

Mazddh, 30 f., 56, 6 1 . See Ahura. 

Mazdaka, 30, 422. 

Medes, Media, 30, 44 f., 185, 
187, 229-35, 247 f., 332. 

Median Tribes, the six, 60, 93, 
183f., 229. 

Meherdates, 233. 

Mercury (planet), 27, 436. 

Marazu (?), 211. 

MecriTT/s, Mithra as, 62, 65, 141. 

Metals : Khshathra s province, 
98, 109, 157; test of culture, 

Metempsychosis, 273 f. 

Metrical tests, 12f. 

metru (Assyr., rain), 66. 

Micah, 194. 

Middle Persian, 102, 233 f., 358, 



" Middling " souls, 1 74-6. 

Mihir (M.P., Mithra), 233, 434. 

Milton, 2,49, 113, 157, 171, 173, 
177, 307, 330. 

misva gatu (intermediate place), 
I75f., 358. 

Mitanni, 6f., 45, 139, 235. 

Mithra: in Aryan pantheon, 63 f., 
139 ; problems of name, 65 f., 
427 f. ; relation to miQra, 63-5, 
69, 151; and original function, 
6l-6, 69; /uecriVr/s, 65, 141; 
twin with Varuna, 32, 6l ; 
chief of deva-daeva, ix, 140f., 
149; a baga in Persia, 52; 
Zarathushtra s treatment of, 
x, 67, 139f. ; cult never 
destroyed, 1 39 f. ; holds place 
in Calendar, 432 ; returned 
purified in LAv., 139, 150f. ; 
lord of Truth, 63 f., 139, 151 ; 
becomes Sun-god, 62 f., 107, 
407 ; relations with Haoma, 
72 ; and Gdus tasan, 347 ; and 
Anahita, 66, 72, 78, 394; in 
Triad, 298 f. ; Slayer of Bull, 
72, 149, 181 ; hence gives im 
mortality, 149 ; as Judge, 167 ; 
Semitic affinities, 65, 238 f. ; 
leading towards Mithraism, 
67, 108; figures in Indo- 
Scythian coins, 1 03 ; in Cap- 
padocia, 1 04 ; in Commagene, 
106 f., al 

Mithraism, 32, 37, 63, 67, 108, 
128-30, 133, 149, 151, 181, 
210, 226, 320, 399, 406. 

miOro druj (pledge-breaker), 151, 

Mitra (Skt or Aryan), 6, 32, 6l, 
117, 141. See Mithra. 

mitrd-miOra (compact), 63, 67, 
69, 139, 151, 373. 

Mnemon, Artaxerxes II., 22, 42, 
77, 104, 139, 238 f., 298 f., 
428, 432. 

Molten Metal. See ayah -^susta. 

, 219, 399 f. 

Mongolians, 200, 224. 

Monotheism : the rise to, 94, 
300 ; compromised in Hap- 
tanghaiti, 1 22 ; pre-eminently 
characteristic of Parsism, 288. 

Monsoon, 25, 436. 

Months, names of, 104 f., 279, 

Moon: and Soma 71, 199; 
TrpoSexTtap for Persians, 1 99 f. > 
Babylonian Sin, 199, 244; in 
Yashts, 393. 

Morality, divine guardians of, 74, 

Moses and Zarathushtra, 300-2. 

Moses of Chorene, 103. 

Mother Earth, 112. 

Mother-goddesses, 238 f. 

Motu, 193. 

Mountains, xi, 21 3 f., 403, 406. 

Murghab, 41, 89. 

Muspar, Mm pairika, 213, 400. 

" My God " (Babylonian), 255. 

myazda (food-offering), 36 1. 

Mysticism, 146. 

Mythic Ox, 129. 

Nabonidus, 42. 

Nahitta, Nahunti, 238. 

Nak-i-rustam, 195. 

Names : of angels, 323 ; of 
planets, 21 If.; and person 
ality, 41 6 f. 

NanhaiOya, 115, 139. 

Naotara, 206 f. 

naro, 379- See Castes. 

Nasatyau, 6, 115, 139. 

Nasu (corpse-fiend), 253, 333. 

Nature-worship, 47, 59f.,87, 108, 

Nearness of the End, 1 59, 366, 

Nebuchadrezzar, 187. 

Nectar and ambrosia, 178, 363. 

Negative, Evil, 134. 

Neit, 44, 53 f. 



Nemi, 225. 

Nereids, 21 6. 

Nergal, 128, 188, 212. 

Nergal-sharezer, 188. 

Neriosengh, 170, 271, 304, 376. 

Nerthus, 112. 

Neuter names, 1 13 f. 

New Testament and Zarathush- 

tra, 126f. 

Next of kin. See Khvetuk-das. 
Nicolaus Damascenus, 204, 210, 


Night-heaven, 6l. 
Nine Ways, 57. 
nmdna (house), 389- 
Nobles (caste), 117. 
Nocturnal sacrifices, 58, 71 f., 

129, 180, 357,409. 
Nomadic period, 71, 395. 
Nomads, 51, 72, 85, 94, 138, 

142, 193, 333, 353. 
North, demons in, 172, 281. 
Northern invaders, 5, 26, 85, 

229, 333. 

Nova, Star of Magi as a, 283 f. 
Numeral system, 244. 

Obedience. See Sraosha. 

Ochus, Artaxerxes III., 52, 239. 

Olympians, 74. 

Omanus, 68, lOOf., 108. 

Omniscience, 95, 290. See Wise. 

omomi, 399 f. 

Oneiromancy, xi, 187, 196, 200, 

209 f., 283. 
Onesicritus, 192. 
Ordeal, 74, 158. 

Order of Amshaspands, 96, 1 1 f. 
Oreitae, 192. 
Origin of Evil, 125, 132, 148- 


Originality of Zarathushtra, 127. 
Ormazd, Opoynao-S???. See Ahura 

Ossetes, 235. 
OvpavLT), 394. 
Ovpavds, 64, 

Ox-Creator, Ox-Soul. See 

tasan, urvan. 
Oxus, 239 f. 

Pahlavi, language and books, 34, 

86,101, 133, 149, I63f., 170 f., 

176, 180, 205-7, 220, 250, 272, 

306, 312, 315, 319, 332, 355, 

363, 365, al. 
Pairika, 278. 
Palestine and Media, trilingual, 


Panjab, 7. 
Panini, 12. 
Paradise, 311, 330, 351. See 

Garonmdna, Vahista. 
- of Fools, 177. 
Parentalia, 265. 
Pdrsa, 184. 
Parsi influence on Judaism. See 

Parsis, modern, xiv, 1 ; under 

Arsacides, 322 f. 
Parthia, 45 f., 85, 90, 228, 233. 
Pasargadae, 195. 
Paul, 154, 175, 323. See Index 

II, ii. (6). 
Pausanias, 33, 208. See Index 

II, iii. (a). 
Penalties, 221. 
Persepolis, 260, 274. 
Persia, 45, 57 f, 233. 
Persian: and Magian, 193, 196, 

202-14, 403, 407, 418 ; burial, 

163, 398; language, Old, 34-6, 

77, 183-5, 251, 332, 432, al.; 

law, 144, 170; religion, popu 

lar, 59 f. 

Personification, 1 00. 
Peshdadians, 56. 
pdso tanu (beyond atonement), 


Philo, 9f., 102f, 110. 
Phraortes, 74, 232, 268 f. 
" Pillar" passages in Gathas, 

pistra (caste), 117. 



Planets, xi, 98 f., 211-4, 241, 

283, 436. 
Plants, 74, 98, 109,114,257,271, 

275,277,401. See Ameretat. 
Platonism and the Gathas, 17, 


Plautus, 110. 
Pliny, 415, 418. See Index II., 

iii. (c). 

nXovros and Haurvatat, 401. 
Plutarch, 27, 51, 110-2, 123, 

127 f., 132 f., 141, 327, 426. 

See Index II., iii. (a). 
Hvev/xa, 257, 299. 
Poetical tradition, 365. 
Polytheism : of Darius ? 54 f. ; 

of pre-refomi Iran, 183; holy 

triads in, 299. 
Poor, care of, 289. 
Porphyry, 29 f., 67, 287. See 

Index II., iii. (a). 
Pourucista, 82, 351, 388. 
pourumahrka (many-slaying), 132, 


Pourushaspa, 82. 
"Powers," Philonic, 10, 111. 
Prayers for dead, 313. 
Precedence among Fravashis, 


Precession, 237, 243. 
Pre-existence, 272. 
Prexaspes, 82. 
Priests, vi, 76, Il6f., 354. 
Primeval Ox, 149, 199- 
" Prince of this world," 306. 
" Princes" of nations, 325. 
Principles, the two, 77. 
IIpoSeKTwp, 199- 
Prometheus, 275. 
Propaganda, 119. 
Prophecy and apocalyptic, 1 54 f. 
Prophet and Priest, 116-8. 
Prose : of Haptanghaiti, 20, 

120; in LAv., 15, 34, 123, 

183, 198, 204. 
Proverbs, Book of, 113. See 

Index II., ii. (a). 

Prtkivl (Skt, Earth), 112. 
Ptolemies, 208. 
Uvpa.i6oi, 117, 408. 

Quantity in verse, 1 3 f. 

Rab-Mag, 187f., 230, 430. 

Raga, 46, 247 f., 269, 335. 

Rains in Iran, 25. 

raoyna zaramaya (spring butter), 
179, 415. 

Raphael, 252. 

Rashnu, 167, 210, 280, 331. 

ra#aes/ar(charioteer caste), 117. 

Ratu (Judge), 160, 175, 179, 347, 
351, 358, 365, 385. 

Reading, 397. 

Reckoning, 112. 

Record of merits, 1 60, 1 62. 

Regeneration. See Fraso karati. 

Regent Stars, 23, 90, 201, 210 f., 
242, 280. 

Religion: of Israel, 286-331; of 
Persia, 36 ; of Achaemenians, 
39 ff., 432 f. 

Religious degeneration, 301. 

Representative spirits, 278. 

Resurrection, 163, 289, 378, 405. 

Retribution, 155, 172 f., 259, 288. 

Reward: here, 155, 159; here 
after, 155, 170-2, 259, 288. 

Right. See Asha. 

Rigveda. See Veda. 

Ritual, 118, 153, 183, 189, 198, 

Rivers : genius of, 2 1 ; patronym 
ics in Greece, 272 ; sanctity 
of, 398. See Waters. 

Rods, Magian use of, 189- 

Roman religion, 63 f., 244, 263, 

Eta (Skt, cf. Asha), 73, 110, 159. 

rubat belit (Assyr.), 239- 

Rustem, 339. 

Sacae, 100. 
Sacaea. 101. 



Sacerdotalism, Il6f. 

Sacred Books of the East, 9, 34, 

Sacrifice, 395, 417. 

Saddar Bundahish, 259. See 
Index II., ii. (d). 

Sadducees, 323. 

Saena, 19, 22, 29. 

Sag-did (glance of dog), 250, 253, 
333 f. 

Sagittarius, 436 f. 

Saistan, 89, 209. 

San dan, 435. 

Sanskrit, 26, 27l,al. 

Saoshyant : name, 145, 346; 
original idea, 158, 309, 372, 
381 ; function in Gathas, 372 ; 
extension in LAv. religion, 27, 
159, 273, 310, 405; birth of, 
89,92,310; destiny, 171,395; 
application to Matt, ii., 284, al. 

Sapiential Books of O.T., 137. 

Sargon, 247. 

Sarmatae, 235. 

Sassanian, xi, 11, 29 f., 33, 120, 
123f., 130, 134, 147, 177, 180, 
183, 204-6, 226 f., 243, 246, 
257 f., 260, 273, 282 f., 305, 
319, 403, 405-7, 434. 

Satan, 304-6, 325 f. 

Satavaesa, 211, 281. 

Satam dialects, 26, 115. 

Saurva, 115. 

savah (blessing), 346. 

Sayana, 10. See Index II., i. (g). 

Scribes, 289- 

Scythians, 13, 70, 73, 200, 410. 

Sea, 58 f., 2l6f. 

Sea-urchin, 400. 

Seed: plants and animals, 211 ; 
of Zarathushtra, 89, 278, 310. 

Self, as determining destiny, 162, 
310. See Daena. 

Se/xe AT;, 392. 

Semitic : influence, see Baby 
lonian, Judaism ; population 
in Media, 185, 196. 

Separater. See Cinvant. 
Serpent, 307. See Azi. 
Seven Amshaspands. See Six. 
Sex; distinctions of gods, 113f., 

122, 238, 394, 413. 
Sexagesimal reckoning, 244. 
Sexual morality, 153. 
Shah Nameh. See Firdausi. 
Shahrevar, 13, 100. 
Shahpuhr, 1 1 . 

Shelley, 92, 172, 254 f., 297. 
Shrines. See ayadana. 
Silences : Behistan, 48 f. ; Hero 
dotus, 59 f. 
Sin, 144, 152. 
Sirius, 23 f., 26 f., 90, 210, 

Six Amshaspands, 96 f., 1 13, 145, 

432; seven, 98 f., 240 f., 252, 

comrades of Darius, 186, 

195, 276. 
siydtis (O.P.), saitis (Av., joy), 

50 f., 291. 
Sky-god, 43, 59 f., 62, 95, 245, 

391 f., 407. 
Sogdiana, 86, 234. 
Sol Invictus, 63, 140. 
Solar character of Mithra, 62 f. 

See Mithra. 

Soma, 71, 199- See Haoma. 
Sondergotter, 69 f., 105, 150. 
2o<ia : Gnostic, 113; rendering 

Aramaiti, 112, 290, 401. 
Sotion, 412. 
Souls : five, 256 ; Plato s two, 

419- See urvan. 
S(p)andaramet, 435. 
Spanyah (holier), 399. 
SpayaQra (?), 351. 
Spells, 1 1 8, 1 53, 1 60, 2 1 7 f., 322, 

Spanta (holy), 96,99, 112, 144f., 

263, 294, 387, 435. 

Mainyu, 97, 1 1 1, 127, 134 f., 

211, 262, 298-300. 
Sphere of Z. s preaching, 83 f. 



Spirit, 111, 299. See Spanta 


Spitama, 82, 375. 
Spityura, 150, 276. 
Spring butter, 311. 
Sraosha, 97, 99, HI, 114, 167-9, 

172, 241, 252, 294, 338, 360, 


star (spread), 190, 394. 
Star of the Magi, 282-5. 
Stars : and Fravashis, 280 f., 

283 f. ; cult of, 99, 201, 210, 

212, 281, 406. 
Steppes, 71, 302. 
Stevenson, R. L., 255. 
Stoics, 242. 
Strabo, 68, 86, 100, 105, 117, 

192, 204 f. See Index II., 

iii. (a). 

Subordination of Ahriman, 305. 
Suetonius, 91. 
Suidas, 411. 
Sun-worship, 58, 189, 191, 198 f., 

217, 393. 

Supererogation, 162, 313. 
Susianian Version, 52, 55, 60, 

93, 185, 230, 238. 
Suttee, 192. 
Symmetrical : grouping of Am- 

shaspands, 1 1 3 f. ; antitheses, 

180, 214, 322. 
Syncretism, 79, 287, 321. 
szventas (Lith.), 145. 

Tabiti, 70. 

Tacitus, 85, 112. See Index II., 

iii. (c). 

Talmud, 319, 323, 325. 
Tamarisk, 190, 408. 
Tammuz, 189, 191. 
Tansar, 30. 
tanu (body), 163. 
tarsmaiti (heresy), 359. 
Taurobolium, 129, 141, 181, 357. 
Taxila, 192. 
Tchang K ien, 85. 
Teispes, 45. 

Temples, 53, 225. 
Ten Tribes, 247, 318. 
*tepos (Ind.-Eur., heat), 70. 
t9visl utaymtl (strength and con 
tinuance), 114, 372, 379. 
0eoyov7, 11 6, 395, 409- 
Theodicy, 154f., 329-31. 
Theopompus, 177, 273, 403-5, 

41 5 f, 424. 
Thetis, 216. 
Thor, 71. 
Thought, Word, Deed, 111, 142, 

146, 168, 170f., 179, 278,310, 


Thrace, 392. 
Thraetaona, 338. 
Three days, the, 242, 289, 313. 
Three Heavens, 328, 350, 402. 
rvasa, 391. 
Tira, 27, 103, 435-7. 
Tiridates, 21 6, 41 8 f., 435. 
Tishtrya, 23 f., 26 f., 103 f., 201, 

237, 281, 401 f., 417, 432 f., 

436 f. 

Tobias, 250. 
Tobit, Book of, xi, 99, 203, 227, 

246-53, 285, 315, 327 f. 
Tortoise, 219. 

Tower of Silence. See Dakhma. 
Tradition, Parsi, 7 f., 11, 18f. 
Travels of Herodotus, 76. 
Treasury. See ganj. 
Tree cult, 1 89- 
Triads, 112, 142, 299, 433. 
Tribes, Median, 60, 117, 183. 
Trilingual Media, 185. 
Trinity, 297 f. 
Truth, 94, 130, 140, 142, 151, 

1 86, 202, 304, 397. See Asha. 

Uganda, 222 f. 
ugnis (Lith.), 70. 
Uysyat arata, 310. 
Uysyafrndmah, 310. 
Understanding. See hudanho. 
Universalism, 157f., 312. 
Unnatural vice, 148, 386, 396. 




tfj and sraosa, 2.94. 
Urheimal, of Indo-Europeans, 244. 
urvaiti (vow), 67. 
urvan (soul), l62f., 257, 259, 

261-3, 382. 
usij, 140. 

usta (will), 364, 410. 
ustana (life), 163. 
ustra (camel, </..), 426. 
utaywti (continuance), 1 14, 173 f., 

372, 379- See tamSi. 

vaepayo (wanton), 386. 

vaesah (corruption), 389- 

vaf (weave), 365. 

vahista (best), 99, 171 f., 336, 346, 

359, 364, 371, 421. 
vairi/a (desirable), 99, 156. 
Valkhash, 11. 
Var, Yima s, 308, 327. 
varademqm (?), 171, 375. 
varmgan, bird, 209. 
varna (Skt, colour), 117. 
Varro, 64, 266. 
Varuna, 6, 32, 6l, 64, 95, 117, 

139, 244 f. 

vasas9 ^sa&ra (ruling at will), 365. 
Vastrya fiuyant (husbandman 

cas te)^ 117, 410. 
Vaumanisa, 109- 
Vayu, 206, 328. 
Veda, 13f., 18, 20, 89, 98, 117, 

123, 138, 143, 200, 244, 356. 
Vedic, 19, 170, 200. 
Vega, 23 f. 

Vegetation spirit, 191. 
Fahrkana (Hyrcania), 400. 
Vendidad, xi, 34, 102, 152, 183, 

202 f, 206, 21 1, 301, 322, 409. 

See Index II., i. (c). 
Venus (planet), 211-3. 
Verethraghna, 69, 103, 106, 108, 


varszsna (husbandmen), 117, 355. 
Verse: Avestan, 123; preserved 

by Magi, 198. 
Vesta, 70. 

vldaiti (separation), 312. 
vldus. See "He that knows." 
vidaibis or viOibix (O.P.), 51, 53, 


Vifarnah, Vindafarnah, 276f. 
Virgil, ix, 91 f- See Index II., 

iii. (c). 

vis (clan), 389. 
Vishtaspa, 27, 30, 43, 45, 47, 80, 

82, 86, 88, 90, 102, 142, 206, 

373 f., 379, 426. 
mspaiti (clan-lord), 86. 
Vivahvant, 149- 
Vocabulary, separate, for Ahri- 

manians, 218 f., 385. 
Vocative of divine names, 424. 
vohu gaona (frankincense), 285. 
Vohumanah, 10, 50, 68, 72, 96, 

99 f., 101, 104 f., 109, Hl-4, 

134, l6l, 171 f., 275, 293 f., 

300, 382, 401, 409, 433. See 

Vouru-kasha, 276, 278. 
vrata-urvata, 64. 
Vrtra, 69. 
vrtrahan, 427. 
Vultures. See Dakhma. 

Warrior Mithra, 139f. 
Water-dog, 152, 222. 
Water-rat, 400. 
Waters, 74, 98, 109, 114, 121, 

129, 215 f., 257, 271,277, 393, 

401, 413, 432. See Anahita, 


Waters above and below, 66. 
Wax, corpse covered with, 163, 

202, 398, 410. 
Weighing of merits, 144, 158, 

169 f., 311, 313 f., 379, 397. 
White horses, 59, 21 6, 408. 
Whiteness, 397, 415. 
Wind, 393. 
Winged solar disk, 68, 243, 


Wings in Persian art, 260. 
Wisdom, 112f., 137, 290, 351. 



Wise Lord, 31 f., 93, 120, 156, 

290 f. 

Wise men, xii, 2, 227, 282-5. 
Witchcraft, 209. 

Wives of Mazdah, 121, 393, 413. 
Wolf, 400. 

Women, position of, 85, 221. 
Words, Ahrimanian, 2 1 8 f. 
Wordsworth, 39, 113, 280. 
World-year, 243, 403-6. 
Worst Thought, 137, 312. 

Xanthus and Scamander, 219. 
Xanthus Lydus, 77, 204, 399, 

41 If., 426, 428 f. 
Xenophon, 42, 428. 
Xerxes, 44, 56 f., 73, 104, 129, 

199, 203, 209, 215-7, 418, 431. 

yah maz(ista), 158, 242. 
Yahweh, 41, 51, 54, 194, 220, 

247, 286, 288, 290, 292-4, 

300, 305 f., 325. 

Yama, 74, 170, 205. See Yima. 
Yang and Yin (Chinese), 303. 
yaozdaia (purified), 408. 
Yashts,13,2lf.,24,26,ll6, 122f., 

150, 182 f., 198, 245, 260. See 

Index II., i. (c). 
Yatu, 209. 
yaz (adore), 388. 
yazaia (adored one), 121, 432, 

434, 436, al. 
Yazdgard, 147. 
yjma (twins), 132. 
Yezd, 408. 
Yima, 74, 148f., 205, 276, 308, 

Yoista, 28. 

, 392. 
zantu (district), 389. 
zantupaiti (district-lord), 86. 
motar (priest), 76, 11 6, 194, 359. 
zaoOra, (libation), 36 1, 427. 
Zarathushtra : general estimate, 
2 ; historical, ix, 8 f., 80 f., 365 ; 

Gathic and LAv. picture, 1 6 ; 
as author in Gathas 17, 345, 
348, 358, 364 f., 369, 383; 
name explained, 77, 82, 201, 
4261"; legends, ix, 19, 91 f., 
319 f.; dated in 7th millen 
nium, 77 f., 243, 41 If.; first 
mention in Greek authors, 
76 f., 412, 426; ignored by 
Darius, 48, 55 ; by Haptang- 
haiti, 20, 121 ; by Herodotus, 
59 f.; doctrine known to Darius, 
56 ; apotheosis in (Haptang- 
haiti once and) LAv. 22, 49, 
78, 142, 302; history and 
teaching, 80-124; abstract- 
ness of his thought, 33, 60, 
94, 99 ; but intensely practical, 
94, 142, 146; his caste, 117; 
not a Magus, 93, 1 1 8 f., 197 f., 
265, 323, 399 5 his date, 8-22, 
87, 103f., 412; death, 89; 
Monotheistic, 140, 296; his 
Ahuras (</.t>.) ; not Dualist, 
126, 20 1,29 1,367; makes devil 
Falsehood, 131, 202 ; counter 
action of Good, 133; general 
doctrine of Evil, 125-53; ejects 
Mithra, 139-41 ; and Haoma. 
71 f.; and Fravashi, 162, 
263-5; casually names Angra 
Mainyu, 49, 135f. ; adapted 
from him by Magi, 202 ; pro 
pitiation of demons forbidden 
by, 127f. ; as Judge at last, 
118, 361, 369, 376, 385; as 
Advocate before Mazdah, 
166-8; as Saoshyant, 158f., 
379, 381 ; as ahii and ratu, 
l60f.; Ethics: triad of Word, 
Thought, Deed, 143 ; no 
provision for atonement, 144; 
use of spmta and asavan, 
145 f.; neither ascetic, 146 f., 
387 ; nor mystic, 146 ; as " the 
Asavan," 354, 36l ; earliest 
apocalyptist, 154f., 326; uses 



old mythus, 158 ; retains rev 
erence for Earth, 1 64 ; and 
Fire, 200 ; the Bridge mythus, 
165; and Aryan hell, 173; 
imminence of End, 309 > as 
"shepherd of poor," l6l f. ; 
overstepped popular religious 
capacity, 182; indifferent to 
ritual, 118, 221; no priest, 
1 1 6-8 ; his teaching not trace 
able in Tobit original, 247 ; or 
in Plutarch, 406 ; or in neigh 
bourhood of Israel s exile, 321 ; 
Meets his fravashi (Shelley), 
254 f. ; compared with Moses, 
301 ; with Jewish prophets 

on Immortality, 329-31 ; a 
prophet without successors, 

ZaraQustrotdma, 118, 274. 

zavar (strength), 234, 426. 

Zela, 101. 

Zend, 8. 

Zervan akarana, 107 f., 133, 153. 

Zervanites, 153, 281. 
! Zeus, 60, 392 ; Greek equivalent 
for Mazdah, 77, 106 ; South 
Ind.-Eur. sky-god, 60, 138, 
391 f. 

Zodiac, 402. 

, 76 f., 399, 4-26.